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 These movies are a showcase for Steve’s attempts at erudition. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, "Steve Coogan Reaches the End of ‘The Trip’," 20 May 2020 The playful title, taken from a Prince lyric, is matched by the wit and erudition in the essays. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, "21 new and classic books to keep you in touch with the natural world," 6 Apr. 2020 Shrubsole, the silver dealer, is known for erudition and connoisseurship. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The Pulse of the Art World, Mid-Pandemic," 11 Apr. 2020 During his stay on Lispenard St., Douglass also absorbed Ruggles’ passion and erudition, receiving a crash course in radical abolitionism. Graham Hodges, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "David Ruggles was a friend to Frederick Douglass, the first full-time black activist and a lead conductor on the Underground Railroad," 14 Feb. 2020 Koenig’s light, boyish vocals are deceptive — like Paul Simon’s keening entreaties that soft-pedaled erudition to both flatter and challenge listeners. Armond White, National Review, "Vampire Weekend Makes the Best Pop-Political Album of the Year," 10 Dec. 2019 Throughout the novel, in fact, adults use their great erudition for the purpose of childlike gushing. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Call Me by Your Name Dream Continues," 4 Nov. 2019 With an immense cast and wide-ranging erudition, this novel, the culmination of a Hungarian master’s career, offers a sweeping view of a contemporary moment that seems deprived of meaning. Patrick Berry, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 26 Nov. 2019 Ferrante writes with sparkling erudition about everyday struggles — to be a woman, to be poor, to yearn for someone who yearns for another. Darren Franich,, "Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels are the best book series of the decade," 15 Nov. 2019

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

14 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Erudition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce erudition (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of erudition

: impressive knowledge that is learned by studying

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for erudition

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with erudition

Spanish Central: Translation of erudition

Nglish: Translation of erudition for Spanish Speakers

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