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

Definition of ignorance

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

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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 That movie sanctifies ignorance, whereas Heller’s, equally gentle, explores not simplemindedness so much as simplicity, a rarer gift. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Art of the Awkward Silence in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”," 15 Nov. 2019 His ignorance-is-bliss approach to what the general public thinks about his play. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Matt Patricia keeps saying 'my bad' on Detroit Lions' defensive woes. So now what?," 5 Nov. 2019 Worse, ignorance compounded (and justified by) the squeamish silences around vulvas have made many of them complacent. Wired, "The Female Founders Disrupting the Vagina Economy," 29 Sep. 2019 While the two are primarily driven by the need to change Chinese stereotypes about Africa, their videos do also capture the ignorance about China and the stereotypes that Africans have about them too. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "These Chinese vloggers are changing how China’s rising middle class sees Africa," 24 Sep. 2019 There also is much public ignorance of actual tariff levels before the trade war began. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Time to explain the basics of trade," 15 Sep. 2019 The defense has now been outlawed in six states, New York most recently, and many cases have proven that oftentimes, a killer’s claim of ignorance is a lie. Katelyn Burns, Vox, "The intersectional complexities of violence against black trans women," 26 July 2019 Not talking to our children about such topics is simply going to continue the sad cycle of ignorance and unacceptance. Will Lochamy, al.com, "What’s wrong? What’s right in Birmingham in July?," 12 July 2019 Yes, and that’s because of ignorance and lack of understanding. Ron Hart, Billboard, "Wynton Marsalis Reflects on 30 Years of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra," 29 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for ignorance

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ignorance.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignorance?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=i&file=ignora04. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for ignorance


How to pronounce ignorance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ignorance

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


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

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Comments on ignorance

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


not agreeing with established beliefs

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