lit·​ter·​a·​teur ˌli-tə-rə-ˈtər How to pronounce litterateur (audio)
variants or littérateur
: a literary person
especially : a professional writer

Example Sentences

Washington Irving is generally credited as the first American litterateur to gain a reputation in Britain and on the Continent.
Recent Examples on the Web The book was first published anonymously, and its authorship is consequently uncertain, though usually attributed to a minor poet and litterateur named Wu Cheng’en. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2021 Even his name, not to mention his author photo, had an aura of toughness more suggestive of a prizefighter than a litterateur. Geoffrey O’brien, The New York Review of Books, 18 Apr. 2019 A similar lesson awaits the young litterateur who insists that a good book should move not only the head and the heart but also the loins. The Dirty Men And Women Of Esquire, Esquire, 29 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'litterateur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


French littérateur, from Latin litterator critic, from litterae letters, literature

First Known Use

1806, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of litterateur was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near litterateur

Cite this Entry

“Litterateur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

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