plural noun
li·​te·​ra·​ti | \ ˌli-tə-ˈrä-(ˌ)tē How to pronounce literati (audio) \

Definition of literati

1 : the educated class also : intelligentsia
2 : persons interested in literature or the arts

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Synonyms for literati


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Examples of literati in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Vardis Fisher, the editor of the Idaho guide, was one such outsider who, despite holding a PhD from the University of Chicago, was not a member of the literati. Max Holleran, The New Republic, 15 June 2021 But the warmer-month rusticators also included literati who encouraged themes of exceptional architectural design, all respecting the island’s varied ecologies and topographic patrimony., 6 June 2021 Florence interviews and then lands what must surely be one of the most coveted gigs for any young person yearning to break into the inner circles of the literati: personal assistant to Maud Dixon. Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2021 Sir John Tusa, a former BBC executive, has written a guide based on his extensive experience among Britain’s literati and glitterati. The Economist, 21 Nov. 2020 Visions of Roman villas and Chinese literati gazing at mountains give way to back-to-the-land hippiedom circa Ken Kesey, then to wellness retreats and the eco-bunkers of catastrophist millionaires. Jason Farago, New York Times, 5 Nov. 2020 Beyond the bookstore, the literati are plunging into the virtual world. Haley Velasco, WSJ, 1 Oct. 2020 But Eliot was lionized by many people who didn’t read his poetry, whereas Longfellow’s books were devoured not only by the literati but by ordinary readers. James Marcus, The New Yorker, 1 June 2020 Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak Founded in 1953 by two friends, college professor Peter D. Martin and the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, City Lights became a cultural institution for San Francisco's bohemians and literati. NBC News, 10 Apr. 2020

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

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for literati

obsolete Italian litterati, from Latin, plural of litteratus

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The first known use of literati was in 1620

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Literati.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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