lit·​er·​a·​cy | \ ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē How to pronounce literacy (audio) \

Definition of literacy

: the quality or state of being literate a program to promote adult literacy

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Examples of literacy in a Sentence

The program is intended to promote adult literacy among people who have had very little schooling. Their goal is to achieve basic literacy.
Recent Examples on the Web The new program will focus on digital literacy but also math, reading and writing, the skills which many employers consider crucial. Christopher Arnott,, "Hartford Library receives federal grant to help reach those without internet access," 23 Nov. 2020 To address this and support mothers in transition and their children, Carter's team provides computer literacy, computers, laptops, Wi-Fi and tech support. Allie Torgan, CNN, "These CNN Heroes are helping a flood of newly released inmates adapt to a world gripped by Covid-19," 17 Sep. 2020 Financial institutions can help instil financial literacy by supporting school programs. Justin Van Fleet For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "More children will fall behind because of the pandemic. How businesses can help," 18 Dec. 2020 Joel Caston has filled many roles during his 26 years of incarceration, from youth mentor to published author to financial literacy instructor for his fellow inmates. Washington Post, "While incarcerated in the D.C. Jail, a candidate fights for an ANC seat," 18 Dec. 2020 More from Taylor: Is financial literacy a bad thing? Michael Taylor,, "Taylor: Past attempts at forgiving student loans have fallen short," 16 Dec. 2020 The drive will provide new books to preschool and elementary students who participate in Children’s Reading Partners’ volunteer literacy programs across the region., "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 11 Dec. 2020 The development calls for three buildings, a community center, playgrounds and on-site adult literacy programs, employment assistance and financial management classes. Kate Santich,, "CVS Health invests nearly $9 million for new Orlando affordable housing," 10 Nov. 2020 The school uses a family-first model that provides resources to the students’ entire families, including job support, legal aid, health care, GED classes, financial literacy programs and an onsite food pantry. Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune, "LeBron James latest athlete to be on Wheaties boxes," 7 Oct. 2020

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

1880, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for literacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of literacy was in 1880

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Statistics for literacy

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Literacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce literacy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of literacy

: the ability to read and write
: knowledge that relates to a specified subject

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