nu·​mer·​acy | \ ˈn(y)üm-rə-sē How to pronounce numeracy (audio) , ˈn(y)ü-mə- \

Definition of numeracy

: 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

Examples of numeracy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The performance of 17-year-olds has actually stagnated over the past 50 years, and even with more kids going to college, notes a 2016 Brookings report, America’s numeracy and literacy levels have dropped. Joel Kotkin, National Review, "Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow," 17 Sep. 2020 There will be no circle time—that magical nexus in which kids learn to share, take turns, express themselves, all while learning literacy and numeracy through singing and telling stories. Jenny Anderson, The Atlantic, "2020 Is Ruining Back-to-School Rituals," 28 Aug. 2020 McKenzie says games like Yahtzee, Monopoly, and Payday are great for reinforcing numeracy skills, while Scrabble and Boggle can help with vocabulary and spelling. Avery Hurt, National Geographic, "Help! My kid’s school is still virtual.," 17 Aug. 2020 On top of that, many of the crucial basics that children learn to reach literacy and numeracy standards are difficult to teach online. cleveland, "Coronavirus hits home in Ohio General Assembly: Capitol Letter," 7 July 2020 As numeracy increased, so did opportunities to poke gentle fun at the desire to be so precise. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "There are a zillion different names for big numbers," 4 June 2020 According to the latest Gates Foundation report, released today (Sept. 17), half the children under age six in francophone Africa lack basic numeracy and literacy. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Bill Gates shares the ultimate recipe for achieving global literacy," 16 Sep. 2019 What's more, our Stone Age ancestors likely would have needed an understanding of mathematical concepts like pairs and sets and basic numeracy skills to create bundles of fibers (yarn), the three-ply cord and rope from multiple cords. Katie Hunt, CNN, "World's oldest string of yarn shows Neanderthals were smarter than we thought," 9 Apr. 2020 Israel’s teachers score near the bottom of international tests of literacy and numeracy. New York Times, "Israel, ‘Start-up Nation,’ Groans Under Strains of Growth and Neglect," 1 Mar. 2020

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

1959, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for numeracy

Latin numerus number + English -acy (as in literacy)

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Time Traveler for numeracy

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The first known use of numeracy was in 1959

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Statistics for numeracy

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Numeracy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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