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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The downstairs bar is divey-cool with touches of erudition. Travis Deshong, Washington Post, "America fell in love with ‘Jeopardy!’ again this year. In Washington, the romance never faded.," 8 July 2019 Accordingly, this technique occasionally lacks elegance, so the knowledge presented can appear an aggregation of Raulff’s own erudition. C. E. Morgan, New York Times, "Galloping Through History," 30 Mar. 2018 The outspoken Liselotte, like the tragic Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I of England, and known as the Winter Queen, was one of history’s esoteric fascinators who bewitched Karl: his erudition was a constant astonishment. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Remembers the Unparalleled Energy, Wicked Wit, and Insatiable Curiosity of Karl Lagerfeld," 20 Feb. 2019 Dyer’s accompanying texts wear their erudition lightly. New York Times, "11 New Books We Recommend This Week," 5 Apr. 2018 This focused study showcases the erudition of one of our most eminent Shakespeare scholars. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy," 24 Apr. 2018 But after them, perhaps thanks to Lee’s erudition, her diplomacy with competing cultural factions, and her powers of persuasion, the votes are more or less foregone. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Delicate Art of Creating New Emoji," 28 June 2018 The result is an an extraordinarily vivid portrait of a man admired not just for his intelligence and erudition, but also for his character, wisdom, and humor. Frank Wilson,, "'Evolution of Desire': René Girard, a man in full," 6 July 2018 Indeed, Trump triumphed despite having all of Cohn’s debits, wartime draft dodging included, but none of his assets — legal cunning, erudition, a sense of humor, brainpower, and loyalty. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "The Original Donald Trump," 29 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of erudition

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about erudition

Dictionary Entries near erudition








Statistics for erudition

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for erudition

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for erudition



English Language Learners Definition of erudition

: impressive knowledge that is learned by studying

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on erudition

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with erudition

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for erudition

Spanish Central: Translation of erudition

Nglish: Translation of erudition for Spanish Speakers

Comments on erudition

What made you want to look up erudition? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!