unlearned 1 of 2


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past tense of unlearn

Synonym Chooser

How is the word unlearned distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of unlearned are ignorant, illiterate, unlettered, and untutored. While all these words mean "not having knowledge," unlearned suggests ignorance of advanced subjects.

poetry not for academics but for the unlearned masses

When is it sensible to use ignorant instead of unlearned?

The synonyms ignorant and unlearned are sometimes interchangeable, but 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 would illiterate be a good substitute for unlearned?

Although the words illiterate and unlearned 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 could unlettered be used to replace unlearned?

While the synonyms unlettered and unlearned are close in meaning, unlettered implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading.

an allusion meaningless to the unlettered

When can untutored be used instead of unlearned?

The words untutored and unlearned 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

Thesaurus Entries Near unlearned

Cite this Entry

“Unlearned.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/unlearned. Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

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