literate

1 of 2

adjective

lit·​er·​ate ˈli-tə-rət How to pronounce literate (audio)
 also  ˈli-trət
1
a
: educated, cultured
literate executives
b
: able to read and write
What percentage of the population is literate?
2
a
: versed in literature or creative writing : literary
literate novelists
b
: lucid, polished
a literate essay
c
: having knowledge or competence (see competent sense 2)
computer-literate
politically literate
literately adverb
literateness noun

literate

2 of 2

noun

1
: an educated person
2
: a person who can read and write

Examples of literate in a Sentence

Adjective She is literate in both English and Spanish. What percentage of the population is literate? The job requires you to be computer literate.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
For most literate people, the act of reading happens automatically, almost magically. Ray Ravaglia, Forbes, 2 Mar. 2024 The digitally literate among us will of course recognize this as some kind of half-assed honeypot. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 22 Feb. 2024 Financial education and literacy A critical step in the journey of getting rich to build wealth is becoming financially literate. Melissa Houston, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2024 Anyway, even if he doesn’t get shanked or trafficked to D Block, the highly literate and bespectacled Butler does run the risk of being pretentious and condescending. Spin Staff, SPIN, 15 Dec. 2023 Toussaint, who was literate, socially adroit and a talented fiddler, was apprenticed as a coiffeur and was permitted to keep some of his earnings; Schuyler and her sister-in-law, Eliza Hamilton — the wife of Alexander Hamilton — were among his earliest clients. Elizabeth Stone, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 Near the end, the always literate Emma switches from quoting Dickens to Thomas Hardy. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 7 Feb. 2024 As Zippia points out, just 57% of American adults are financially literate. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 26 Jan. 2024 Writer-director Jade Halley Bartlett makes a promising debut with a literate but predictable thriller, elevated by Martin Freeman's sturdy acting and Jenna Ortega's star wattage. Todd Gilchrist, Variety, 24 Jan. 2024
Noun
Being data literate is not the same as being a data storyteller. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 The Earth Day website provides great information about how individuals, groups and organizations can become involved in large-scale projects, steps to reduce your own impact, such as buying sustainable fashion, and or simply becoming more climate literate. Jim Foerster, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 Weaver, who has led the effort to move away from a balanced literacy curriculum and toward foundational skills, cited district test scores showing just 44% of students are grade-level literate, with dramatically lower rates among certain demographic groups. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 June 2022 Instead of hunting for data scientists who are the masters-of-everything that Davenport and Patil value, DosSantos says, companies should be thinking about how to build teams in which data literate analysts work alongside subject-matter experts from various business units. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 8 Mar. 2022 The move to Encinitas in 2018 seems to have helped as well, immersed in a health-conscious, Olympic-literate community (70 other athletes with San Diego ties are in Tokyo), connected with the ocean’s therapeutic vibe and California’s openminded ethos. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 July 2021 As someone who works with words for a living, I’m drawn to the literate, the quick witted and the facile conversationists. Eric Fuller, Forbes, 30 Dec. 2021 Being science-literate won’t protect you from such biases, Kahan says. Christie Aschwanden, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2015 However, despite leaders’ expectations and the real-world need for a data literate workforce, businesses are not doing their part to prepare their teams. Mike Capone, Forbes, 23 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'literate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

Middle English literat, from Latin litteratus marked with letters, literate, from litterae letters, literature, from plural of littera

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

circa 1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of literate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near literate

Cite this Entry

“Literate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/literate. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

literate

1 of 2 adjective
lit·​er·​ate ˈlit-ə-rət How to pronounce literate (audio)
ˈli-trət
1
2
: able to read and write
3
: having knowledge or experience in a particular area
computer literate
literately adverb
literateness noun

literate

2 of 2 noun
1
: an educated person
2
: a person who can read and write

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