Synonym Chooser

How is the word ignorant distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of ignorant are illiterate, unlearned, unlettered, and untutored. While all these words 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

When could illiterate be used to replace ignorant?

Although the words illiterate and ignorant have much in common, illiterate applies to either an absolute or a relative inability to read and write.

much of the population is still illiterate

When can unlearned be used instead of ignorant?

While the synonyms unlearned and ignorant are close in meaning, unlearned suggests ignorance of advanced subjects.

poetry not for academics but for the unlearned masses

In what contexts can unlettered take the place of ignorant?

The meanings of unlettered and ignorant largely overlap; however, unlettered implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading.

an allusion meaningless to the unlettered

Where would untutored be a reasonable alternative to ignorant?

The words untutored and ignorant can be used in similar contexts, but untutored may imply lack of schooling in the arts and ways of civilization.

strange monuments built by an untutored people

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Cite this Entry

“Ignorant.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ignorant. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

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