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 For this pattern [of violations] to emerge, many people have to be ignorant of or indifferent to the rules. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Investigation reveals widespread double dipping in NIH program to pay off school debt," 21 Nov. 2019 Trump, by contrast, is ignorant, impulsive, vulnerable to conspiracy theories, and motivated by his own personal grievances and grudges. Time, "Trump’s Actions in Ukraine Were Dangerous for the U.S.," 20 Nov. 2019 Not an angry, ignorant, biased rag but instead an intelligent, thoughtful and thought-provoking sharing and imparting of knowledge. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: If you can’t impeach …; Erosion in our society; No need to know whistle-blower; Fans are victims of greed; more responses (11/15/19)," 15 Nov. 2019 But out of such a revisionist, or ignorant, view of history, an alternative view arises: Minister Maas seems to believe that Europeans did it all themselves. Jakub Grygiel, National Review, "Mister Heiko Maas, Shred That Article!," 8 Nov. 2019 Nervous neophytes easily learned how to hold a hamburger without feeling like an ignorant, second-class citizen. Jonathan Coopersmith, Quartzy, "Americans are not using umbrellas as they were intended," 14 Sep. 2019 To assume this one was not an immediate threat was not ignorant. Tessa Love, Longreads, "California Burning," 8 Nov. 2019 Women were considered weaker, ignorant of legal matters, and lacking in judgment. National Geographic, "In ancient Rome, citizenship was the path to power," 4 Nov. 2019 The company, however, seems ignorant—or at least unwilling—to acknowledge these pitfalls. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Facebook is beating a dead horse with Libra," 24 Oct. 2019

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

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ignorant.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignorant?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=i&file=ignora05. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for ignorant

ignorant

adjective
How to pronounce ignorant (audio)

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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