ig·​no·​rance | \ ˈig-n(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce ignorance (audio) \

Essential Meaning of ignorance

: a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education : the state of being ignorant His racist attitudes were born out of ignorance. an appalling ignorance about/of other cultures

Full Definition of ignorance

: the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness

Examples of ignorance in a Sentence

His racist attitudes were born out of ignorance. an appalling ignorance about other cultures
Recent Examples on the Web Passersby on Saturday said Roman instead betrays his ignorance, at best, and, at worst, perpetuates anti-science views that endanger the public’s health. Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2021 Following those marching orders might not be for every filmmaker, but at this point nobody can plead ignorance about how the system functions, which requires taking directions as well as giving them. Brian Lowry, CNN, 8 Nov. 2021 The holiday celebration represents the symbolic triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance, according to National Geographic. Caroline Tien, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Nov. 2021 Dustin’s first instinct was to panic and plead ignorance. Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2021 This purposeful ignorance underpins Galgut’s narrative choices in the novel. Eloise Barry, Time, 5 Nov. 2021 Diwali, which is also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists, symbolizes the victory of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 3 Nov. 2021 Marie Tribe in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, made a point to acknowledge the initial ignorance of the United States and Enbridge about the environmental costs of such development. Nick Martin, The New Republic, 1 Nov. 2021 Sometimes these poor choices are rooted in bias and prejudice and other times absurd custom choices are a consequence of sheer ignorance. Maia Niguel Hoskin, Forbes, 30 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ignorance.' 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 ignorance

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ignorance

Time Traveler

The first known use of ignorance was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near ignorance

ignoramus waltz


ignorance is bliss

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Statistics for ignorance

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ignorance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignorance. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for ignorance


ig·​no·​rance | \ ˈig-nə-rəns How to pronounce ignorance (audio) \

Kids Definition of ignorance

: a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education : the state of being ignorant

More from Merriam-Webster on ignorance

Nglish: Translation of ignorance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ignorance for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ignorance


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