Synonym Chooser

How is the word unlettered distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of unlettered are ignorant, illiterate, unlearned, and untutored. While all these words mean "not having knowledge," unlettered implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading.

an allusion meaningless to the unlettered

Where would ignorant be a reasonable alternative to unlettered?

Although the words ignorant and unlettered have much in common, 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 is illiterate a more appropriate choice than unlettered?

While in some cases nearly identical to unlettered, illiterate applies to either an absolute or a relative inability to read and write.

much of the population is still illiterate

When would unlearned be a good substitute for unlettered?

The words unlearned and unlettered can be used in similar contexts, but unlearned suggests ignorance of advanced subjects.

poetry not for academics but for the unlearned masses

When could untutored be used to replace unlettered?

The meanings of untutored and unlettered largely overlap; however, untutored may imply lack of schooling in the arts and ways of civilization.

strange monuments built by an untutored people

Thesaurus Entries Near unlettered

Cite this Entry

“Unlettered.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/unlettered. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

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