adjective ig·no·rant \ ˈig-n(ə-)rənt \
|Updated on: 16 Jul 2018

Definition of ignorant

1 a : destitute of knowledge or education
  • an ignorant society
; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified
  • parents ignorant of modern mathematics
b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence
  • ignorant errors





Examples of ignorant in a Sentence

  1. … the World Series of the wild-card era is the pull of a slot-machine lever, a game of chance ignorant of form. Regularly populated now with second-place clubs or flavor-of-the-month teams more than dominant regular-season franchises … —Tom VerducciSports Illustrated30 Oct. 2006
  2. That may be especially true for today's … 13-year-olds, whose own moms and dads grew up largely ignorant of car seats, bike helmets, antibacterial soaps and childproof locks … —Nancy GibbsTime8 Aug. 2005
  3. The joke is that the film was not his work. To refer to a producer's oeuvre is, at least to me, as ignorant as to refer to the oeuvre of a stockbroker. —David MametJafsie and John Henry: Essays1999
  4. He is an ignorant old racist.

  5. She was ignorant about the dangers of the drug.

  6. It was an ignorant mistake.

Recent Examples of ignorant from the Web

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

The Polite and Not-So-Polite Uses of ignorant

Ignorant shares a root with the word ignore, one of those etymological connections which appear obvious once they are pointed out, yet remained overlooked by most. Both words come from the Latin ignorare (“to ignore, be ignorant of”). There are several meanings of ignorant, all of which are concerned with a lack of knowledge in some sense; some of these are more insulting than others, and care should be exercised before applying this word to people who you do not wish to offend. Saying “They were ignorant of most of the laws of physics” means that the people in question did not have a specific body of learning. Saying “You are an ignorant person” is possibly describing someone as primitive, crude, or uncivilized.

Origin and Etymology of ignorant

see ignore

Synonym Discussion of ignorant

ignorant, illiterate, unlettered, untutored, unlearned mean not having knowledge. ignorant may imply a general condition or it may apply to lack of knowledge or awareness of a particular thing.
    • an ignorant fool
    • ignorant of nuclear physics
illiterate applies to either an absolute or a relative inability to read and write.
    • much of the population is still illiterate
unlettered implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading.
    • an allusion meaningless to the unlettered
untutored may imply lack of schooling in the arts and ways of civilization.
    • strange monuments built by an untutored people
unlearned suggests ignorance of advanced subjects.
    • poetry not for academics but for the unlearned masses

IGNORANT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of ignorant for English Language Learners

  • : lacking knowledge or information

  • : resulting from or showing a lack of knowledge

IGNORANT Defined for Kids


adjective ig·no·rant \ ˈig-nə-rənt \

Definition of ignorant for Students

1 : having little or no knowledge : not educated
2 : not knowing : unaware
  • They're ignorant of the facts.
3 : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge
  • It was an ignorant mistake.



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