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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Examples of literati in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "What Is There to Love About Longfellow?," 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, "Iconic San Francisco bookstore closed by coronavirus may never reopen," 10 Apr. 2020 Yana Paskova for The New York Times Michael Seidenberg, whose clandestine bookshop and literary salon on the Upper East Side was much loved by bibliophiles, literati and inveterate browsers, died on July 8 in a hospital in Danbury, Conn. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Michael Seidenberg, Who Ran a (Sort of) Secret Bookstore, Dies at 64," 15 July 2019 Within minutes, the dance floor was covered by a joyful wave of party-goers, not held back by their black-tie attire, cutting the rug into the wee hours of the night, proving that event the literati know how to get down. Vogue, "The 70th Annual National Book Awards Was A Surprisingly Boisterous Night," 21 Nov. 2019 On Monday night, New York’s literati and culturati gathered to celebrate the 2019 honorees at the New York Public Library’s Library Lions gala. Vogue, "The New York Public Library Lured Manhattan’s Culturati to Its Library Lions Gala," 6 Nov. 2019 The finance literati, including Goldman Sachs’s former CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, have recently taken to Twitter to mock plans being put forth by Bernie Sanders, Rubio and others to limit buybacks as ill-informed. Washington Post, "Don’t Like Buybacks? It’s Harder to Bet on the Flip Side," 14 Feb. 2019 Both attract literati like Ernest Hemingway and Dorothy Parker. Rico Gagliano, WSJ, "This Iconic Hollywood Restaurant Lets You Travel Back in Time," 13 Feb. 2019 By the 19th century, representations of the Diamond Mountains had extended past elite artists and the literati to folk figures, and a market for images of the peaks had taken hold. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Review: When a Landscape (and Memory) Is All You Have," 8 Feb. 2018

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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Time Traveler for literati

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The first known use of literati was in 1620

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Literati.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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