unlettered

adjective
un·let·tered | \ ˌən-ˈle-tərd \

Definition of unlettered 

1a : lacking facility in reading and writing and ignorant of the knowledge to be gained from books

b : illiterate

2 : not marked with letters

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Choose the Right Synonym for unlettered

ignorant, illiterate, unlettered, untutored, unlearned mean not having knowledge. ignorant may imply a general condition or it may apply to lack of knowledge or awareness of a particular thing. an ignorant fool ignorant of nuclear physics illiterate applies to either an absolute or a relative inability to read and write. much of the population is still illiterate unlettered implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading. an allusion meaningless to the unlettered untutored may imply lack of schooling in the arts and ways of civilization. strange monuments built by an untutored people unlearned suggests ignorance of advanced subjects. poetry not for academics but for the unlearned masses

Examples of unlettered in a Sentence

unlettered moviegoers could scarcely imagine how little resemblance the film bore to the novel on which it was supposedly based

Recent Examples on the Web

The consequences of Kanye West’s unlettered view of America and its history are, if anything, more direct. Ta-nehisi Coates, The Atlantic, "I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye," 7 May 2018 In the tradition of both black and white southern folk preaching, ministers usually spoke extemporaneously to unlettered congregants, who expected the Spirit of God to impart messages of encouragement and hope. The Economist, "The making of Martin Luther King’s speeches," 28 Mar. 2018 His description of Stephen Miller, a White House policy adviser, as an unlettered lightweight is inaccurate and mean. The Economist, "Wolff in the White House“Fire and Fury” confirms the dysfunction at the heart of the presidency," 11 Jan. 2018 In celebrating the unlettered Huncke, Ginsberg was suggesting that professionals may have more to learn from amateurs than the other way around. Ann Douglas, New York Times, "Professor Ginsberg’s Notes on the Beats," 1 Aug. 2017 They've long been dismissed as stupid or unlettered or unsophisticated. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Will flaying Trump bring us to normalcy?," 30 May 2017 Despite his unlettered status, Joe sees more clearly than anyone else that there are great dangers in Pip taking money from a mysterious benefactor and going off to the city. Kerry Reid, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Pip's travels are long but worth the trip in 'Great Expectations'," 26 May 2017 What distinguished this case from most others was what happened in the aftermath: Almost every single one of Forsyth’s 1,098 African-Americans — prosperous and poor, literate and unlettered — was driven out of the county. Jennifer Senior, New York Times, "Review: ‘Blood at the Root,’ a Tale of Racial Cleansing Close to Home," 14 Sep. 2016

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near unlettered

unlessoned

unlet

unlettable

unlettered

unlevel

unlevelness

unliable

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Time Traveler for unlettered

The first known use of unlettered was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for unlettered

unlettered

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unlettered

: unable to read or write

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