illiteracy

noun
il·​lit·​er·​a·​cy | \ (ˌ)i(l)-ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē How to pronounce illiteracy (audio) \
plural illiteracies

Definition of illiteracy

1 : the quality or state of being illiterate especially : inability to read or write
2 : a mistake or crudity (as in speaking) typical of one who is illiterate

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Synonyms & Antonyms for illiteracy

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of illiteracy in a Sentence

the government's efforts to reduce illiteracy His letters contain many misspellings and illiteracies.
Recent Examples on the Web Many of Baltimore’s public school buildings lack heat or drinkable water, and the city’s homicide, drug-overdose, illiteracy and lead-poisoning rates are among the highest in America. Thiru Vignarajah, WSJ, 16 Apr. 2021 Recent draft proposals from the EU were accused variously of overreach, techno-illiteracy, and being full of loopholes. Tom Simonite, Wired, 3 June 2021 For decades, humans enjoyed remarkable progress against extreme poverty, illiteracy, disease, blindness and hunger. Nicholas Kristof, Star Tribune, 29 May 2021 Tastes for reading aloud faded during the 20th century, even inspiring condescension, perhaps because of its associations with illiteracy. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2021 Virchow documented hunger, illiteracy, poverty and depression among Silesians, and concluded that the root of the problem lay in their exploitation. Amy Maxmen, Scientific American, 13 May 2021 In that same time frame, China’s illiteracy rate also dropped from 4.08% to 2.67%. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 11 May 2021 The show famously addressed the 1986 explosion of the Challenger space shuttle as well as childhood illiteracy, prescription pill addiction and bankruptcy. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 3 Mar. 2021 The show famously addressed the 1986 explosion of the Challenger space shuttle as well as childhood illiteracy, prescription pill addiction and bankruptcy. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 3 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'illiteracy.' 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 illiteracy

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for illiteracy

Time Traveler

The first known use of illiteracy was in 1660

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Statistics for illiteracy

Last Updated

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Illiteracy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illiteracy. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for illiteracy

illiteracy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of illiteracy

: the state of not knowing how to read or write
: the state of not having knowledge about a particular subject
: a mistake that is made in the use of language : an illiterate statement or expression

illiteracy

noun
il·​lit·​er·​a·​cy | \ i-ˈli-tə-rə-sē How to pronounce illiteracy (audio) \

Kids Definition of illiteracy

: the state or condition of being unable to read or write

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