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 DeWine, who first encountered the book mailing initiative through her grandchildren, has traversed the state, singing the praises of the early literacy program and raising money to expand enrollments to all 88 Ohio counties. Rachel Dissell, cleveland, "75,000 Cuyahoga kids can get free Imagination Library books in the mail starting next week," 10 Jan. 2020 The financial services industry quite likes financial literacy programs. Michael Taylor,, "Taylor: Is financial literacy a bad thing?," 6 Dec. 2019 Make fiscally responsible changes to ISD 196 literacy programs, to close the achievement gap, especially for those students who struggle with reading. Pioneer Press Elections Team, Twin Cities, "ROSEMOUNT-APPLE VALLEY-EAGAN SCHOOL BOARD," 14 Oct. 2019 The agency also intends to promote financial literacy among county residents and reduce emergency room visits due to drug overdoses. Megan Becka, cleveland, "United Way of Summit County announces 2020-21 grant recipients," 10 Dec. 2019 The organization received a $7,500 Season for Sharing grant last year to help fund its Raising a Reader and Get Ready to Read Early literacy screening programs. Elizabeth Montgomery, azcentral, "Season for Sharing kicks off 26th year of helping Arizona. Here's how to donate," 15 Nov. 2019 At the state level, the department of education has been awarded a $6.5 million federal grant to support a comprehensive literacy program. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Most Alaska students’ math and reading scores dip on ‘nation’s report card’," 31 Oct. 2019 This drop-in program, Waddling Ones, is an early literacy program designed for you and your child ages 12 to 24 months., "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 4 Sep. 2019 In total, Rotary passed out 768 dictionaries as part of its annual literacy campaign. Linda G. Kramer, cleveland, "Rotary donates dictionaries to third-graders in Berea, Olmsted Falls school districts: Community Voices," 12 Dec. 2019

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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Literacy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for literacy


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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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 to be intimidated or subdued

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