er·​u·​di·​tion | \ ˌer-ə-ˈdi-shən How to pronounce erudition (audio) , ˌer-yə- \

Definition of erudition

: extensive knowledge acquired chiefly from books : profound, recondite, or bookish learning

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Choose the Right Synonym for erudition

knowledge, learning, erudition, scholarship mean what is or can be known by an individual or by humankind. knowledge applies to facts or ideas acquired by study, investigation, observation, or experience. rich in the knowledge of human nature learning applies to knowledge acquired especially through formal, often advanced, schooling. a book that demonstrates vast learning erudition strongly implies the acquiring of profound, recondite, or bookish learning. an erudition unusual even in a scholar scholarship implies the possession of learning characteristic of the advanced scholar in a specialized field of study or investigation. a work of first-rate literary scholarship

Examples of erudition in a Sentence

a scholar of remarkable erudition a theologian of impressive erudition but with a down-to-earth manner
Recent Examples on the Web Newstok, a scholar of Shakespeare, wears his erudition proudly and lightly, weaving quotations and maxims from dozens of artists and scholars throughout his text. John Warner,, 14 June 2021 Johannes writes letters on her behalf, but his erudition may work against her. Dan Cryer, Star Tribune, 4 June 2021 His articles caught the attention of Bob Weinstock, the head of Prestige, who was impressed by Mr. Porter’s erudition and offered him a job with the label. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2021 The celebrity of Gorman and other comparable young figures, who become vaunted for their erudition and moral clarity and their bright elucidation of global pain, is a new, and complicated, kind of fame. Doreen St. Félix, Vogue, 7 Apr. 2021 Covering the rest of Lincoln’s life, Reynolds is prone to informative digressions into larger cultural backgrounds and significances, though his erudition occasionally gets the better of him. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, 13 Apr. 2021 As played by Leo Marks, Dr. Miller is figure of preternatural erudition, wit and compassion. Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2021 When a renowned Princeton professor makes such a masterful display of archival and statistical research, coupled with such evident erudition in eighteenth-century publishing, expertise and facts must win the day. William Hogeland, The New Republic, 25 Jan. 2021 Harold Bloom was one of the leading critics of his generation, and there is no question about his erudition. Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'erudition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of erudition

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of erudition was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Erudition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of erudition

: impressive knowledge that is learned by studying

More from Merriam-Webster on erudition

Nglish: Translation of erudition for Spanish Speakers


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