ignorant

adjective
ig·​no·​rant | \ ˈig-n(ə-)rənt How to pronounce ignorant (audio) \

Essential Meaning of ignorant

1 : lacking knowledge or information He is an ignorant old racist. She was ignorant about the dangers of the drug.
2 : resulting from or showing a lack of knowledge It was an ignorant mistake. ignorant opinions

Full Definition of ignorant

1a : 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

Other Words from ignorant

ignorantly adverb
ignorantness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

Examples of ignorant in a Sentence

… 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 Verducci, Sports Illustrated, 30 Oct. 2006 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 Gibbs, Time, 8 Aug. 2005 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 Mamet, Jafsie and John Henry: Essays, 1999 He is an ignorant old racist. She was ignorant about the dangers of the drug. It was an ignorant mistake.
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Recent Examples on the Web The first minstrel shows mimicked enslaved Africans on Southern plantations, depicting Black people as lazy, ignorant, cowardly or hypersexual, according to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, 3 Nov. 2021 The current tax posture of our progressive friends is partly irresponsible, partly ignorant, and partly dishonest. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 30 Oct. 2021 Of course, that will pass, because the fans always come back, as do the media, no matter how high the price of loyalty or how ignorant, callous, or cavalier the actions of those in virtually every facet of the NHL’s infrastructure. BostonGlobe.com, 29 Oct. 2021 Karim Walker, 40, who was homeless since 2016 and is now living in his own apartment, said people can be ignorant about the law, and how their attempts at enforcement can affect people. New York Times, 15 Oct. 2021 His daughter has described him as ignorant, abusive and threatening. Alex Janin, WSJ, 29 Sep. 2021 But Barnes wasn’t ignorant of the role Smith played in Washington’s success under former coach Chris Petersen. oregonlive, 6 Oct. 2021 Consumers, who before COVID-19 could remain blissfully ignorant of how goods were produced and shipped, have now become accustomed to stock shortages or delivery delays. BostonGlobe.com, 16 Sep. 2021 Too many people were fatally ignorant of the present. Washington Post, 16 Aug. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of ignorant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ignorant

see ignore

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Time Traveler for ignorant

Time Traveler

The first known use of ignorant was in the 14th century

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Statistics for ignorant

Last Updated

17 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ignorant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignorant. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for ignorant

ignorant

adjective
ig·​no·​rant | \ ˈig-nə-rənt How to pronounce ignorant (audio) \

Kids Definition of ignorant

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.

Other Words from ignorant

ignorantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on ignorant

Nglish: Translation of ignorant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ignorant for Arabic Speakers

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