plural noun

li·​te·​ra·​ti ˌli-tə-ˈrä-(ˌ)tē How to pronounce literati (audio)
: the educated class
: persons interested in literature or the arts

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Speakers included friends, family and fans, as did the audience, a mix of New York literati, Hollywood stars and the writers working today who owe a debt to Didion. Amy Hubbard, Los Angeles Times, 23 Sep. 2022 The bread baked on Pepperidge Farm soon captured the attention of the Manhattan food literati. Fox News, 24 June 2022 By the late Eighties, Sorokin began to enjoy a modest amount of acclaim among the Russian-speaking literati, both at home and abroad. Jennifer Wilson, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 One of those lunches was with me, at Michael’s restaurant, a fishbowl in those days for the literati. Amy Fine Collins, Town & Country, 28 Jan. 2022 This sort of private-lives-of-the-bohemian-literati enterprise can easily become too sensationalized and/or high-minded, with real-life characters alternately reciting and smoldering at each other. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 19 Jan. 2022 The literati peppered him with questions, and Marks responded with pride. Longreads, Longreads, 2 Nov. 2021 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 See More

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.

Word History


obsolete Italian litterati, from Latin, plural of litteratus

First Known Use

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of literati was in 1620

Dictionary Entries Near literati

Cite this Entry

“Literati.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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Last Updated: 28 Sep 2022

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