nu·​mer·​acy ˈn(y)ü-mə-rə-sē How to pronounce numeracy (audio)
: ability to understand and work with numbers : the quality or state of being numerate
The quality of education at the school is outstanding. Levels of literacy and numeracy are exceptionally good and the number of children requiring remedial attention is low.Ruth Rendell et al.
Literacy, numeracy and a sense of scientific problem-solving are the fundamental underpinnings of education for everybody, rich and poor alike.David Hamburg

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web More geared to impress customers with a barrage of numeracy than give cautious odds with huge error bars. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 21 May 2011 Beyond the excursions out in nature, the curriculum also contains lessons on literacy, particularly phonemic awareness, as well as numeracy, designed by teachers picked by the nonprofit Golden Apple Foundation, which offers educator preparation and awards. Alice Yin,, 11 Aug. 2021 Their lack of literacy and numeracy adversely affects the productivity and profitability of businesses. Faustine Ngila, Quartz, 4 Apr. 2023 On average, American children had lower literacy and numeracy scores, poorer self-regulation skills, and engaged in fewer acts of cooperation, kindness and other prosocial behaviors than did children in England and Estonia, the other countries studied. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, 1 June 2022 Those include: literacy and numeracy tests for kindergartners, reading benchmarks for grades one through three, the RISE standardized assessments for grades three through eight (that include math, language arts and science), and the ACT given to all 11th graders in Utah. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Nov. 2021 Some 8 million adults in England have the numeracy skills of primary school children and only half of 16-19 year olds study any maths at all, the government has said. Alex Wickham,, 3 Jan. 2023 The areas examined included language and communication skills, physical development and personal, social and emotional development, as well as literacy and numeracy skills. Nick Morrison, Forbes, 17 May 2022 In one study conducted in the U.K., researchers found that at age 30, people with low numeracy tended to have less education and were more likely to be unemployed, in trouble with the law, and mentally and physically sicker than others the same age. Carlin Flora, Discover Magazine, 19 Nov. 2013 See More

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

Word History


Latin numerus number entry 1 + -acy (in literacy)

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of numeracy was in 1959

Dictionary Entries Near numeracy

Cite this Entry

“Numeracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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