ignorant

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

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

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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 Let those with the ignorant comments bury their heads in shame. Nimi Princewill, CNN, "Eight months pregnant athlete clinches Taekwondo gold medal," 7 Apr. 2021 Overall, the look was actually a hit, despite a few ignorant detractors. Glamour, "Jill Biden Wore a Pair of Fishnet Tights, and Twitter Broke," 5 Apr. 2021 Some actors from the American version of the popular series have since commented on some of Scott's more ignorant blunders. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Actress from 'Benihana Christmas' episode critiques how The Office portrayed Asian Americans," 29 Mar. 2021 But getting rid of masks, just seems ignorant to me. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Spurs' Gregg Popovich rips Texas governor for lifting mask mandate: "Just seems ignorant"," 3 Mar. 2021 Heavy-handed efforts to limit personal freedom based on the assumption that too many people are ignorant is elitist. Dave Seminara, WSJ, "Come Back to Florida for Spring Break," 14 Mar. 2021 Barkley then reflected on an essay posted on Instagram by the New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman that touched on the dangers of ignorant speech and the impact on Jewish people. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Charles Barkley on anti-Semitic slur from Heat’s Meyers Leonard, ‘He said something that was really stupid’," 12 Mar. 2021 Baldwin’s defense seems to cast the issue as ignorant backlash against her bicultural background. Washington Post, "From an Instagram joke to an Alec Baldwin rant: The Hilaria Baldwin accent controversy, explained," 28 Dec. 2020 As for what to do about Mather’s mixtape of ignorant comments, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred only can hope people see the former Mariners boss as an outlier who doesn’t represent the thinking of the rest of his former peers. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Column: No shortage of candidates for baseball’s biggest dope of 2021," 26 Feb. 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

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ignorant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignorant. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ignorant

ignorant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ignorant

: lacking knowledge or information
: resulting from or showing a lack of knowledge

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

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Comments on ignorant

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