lit·er·a·cy | \ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē \

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 other items in Amendment 8 deal with term limits for school board members and the teaching of civic literacy. Leslie Postal,, "Lawsuit seeks to block proposed constitutional Amendment 8 from ballot," 13 July 2018 In addition to the Read Together Palm Beach County initiative events, the center has been the site for visits from authors James Patterson, Scott Eyman and Robert Wagner who speak to children about the importance of literacy. Kari Barnett,, "Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County looks back on 5 years in new building," 12 July 2018 The elder Bush enjoys wearing colorful socks and wore socks with books on them to honor his late wife’s commitment to literacy at her funeral. Fox News, "Former president George H.W. Bush welcomes service dog named Sully, shows off Bill Clinton socks," 25 June 2018 My mom’s job as a teacher in Los Angeles gave me a window into lack of access to literacy. Jessica Militare, Glamour, "10 College Women on Activism, Me Too, and Calling B.S. on Perfection," 4 June 2018 To maths, to science, to literacy, to business, to communications. Danielle Rossingh, CNN, "Sailing around the world -- with three children," 30 Apr. 2018 Seated front and center, confined to a wheelchair but sporting socks embroidered with books to celebrate his wife's dedication to literacy, was Barbara's husband of 73 years: former president George H.W. Bush. Rachel Siegel, ajc, "'You were the reason': Barbara and George Bush's love story remembered at her funeral," 23 Apr. 2018 The federal money could pay for supportive services for individuals and families, as well as programs to encourage youth leadership, financial literacy and immigrant integration, Silyan-Saba. Emily Alpert Reyes,, "In L.A., federal grant to combat extremism stirs up concerns about targeting Muslims," 3 July 2018 Barbara Bush was a fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought us levity, love and literacy to millions. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "The Trumps, Clintons, and Obamas Remember Barbara Bush," 18 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near literacy






literal contract


Statistics for literacy

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for literacy

The first known use of literacy was in 1880

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English Language Learners Definition of literacy

: the ability to read and write

: knowledge that relates to a specified subject

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Comments on literacy

What made you want to look up literacy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

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