ignorant

adjective
ig·​no·​rant | \ ˈig-n(ə-)rənt How to pronounce ignorant (audio) \

Definition of ignorant

1a : destitute of knowledge or education an ignorant society also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified parents ignorant of modern mathematics
b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence ignorant errors

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Other Words from ignorant

ignorantly adverb
ignorantness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for ignorant

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

The Polite and Not-So-Polite Uses of Ignorant

Ignorant shares a root with the word ignore, one of those etymological connections which appear obvious once they are pointed out, yet remained overlooked by most. Both words come from the Latin ignorare (“to ignore, be ignorant of”). There are several meanings of ignorant, all of which are concerned with a lack of knowledge in some sense; some of these are more insulting than others, and care should be exercised before applying this word to people who you do not wish to offend. Saying “They were ignorant of most of the laws of physics” means that the people in question did not have a specific body of learning. Saying “You are an ignorant person” is possibly describing someone as primitive, crude, or uncivilized.

Examples of ignorant in a Sentence

… the World Series of the wild-card era is the pull of a slot-machine lever, a game of chance ignorant of form. Regularly populated now with second-place clubs or flavor-of-the-month teams more than dominant regular-season franchises … — Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated, 30 Oct. 2006 That may be especially true for today's … 13-year-olds, whose own moms and dads grew up largely ignorant of car seats, bike helmets, antibacterial soaps and childproof locks … — Nancy Gibbs, Time, 8 Aug. 2005 The joke is that the film was not his work. To refer to a producer's oeuvre is, at least to me, as ignorant as to refer to the oeuvre of a stockbroker. — David Mamet, Jafsie and John Henry: Essays, 1999 He is an ignorant old racist. She was ignorant about the dangers of the drug. It was an ignorant mistake.
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Recent Examples on the Web The planet cannot afford a climate movement that is so ignorant about the economy. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 1 Sep. 2021 In hiding her pregnancy, Lani illustrated how deeply appearances matter in the show's ecosystem and how, though everything may seem fine, people are often ignorant to what may be bubbling under the surface. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, 16 Aug. 2021 But the fact that an actor with his level of influence remained ignorant to how dangerous homophobic language is doesn't really deserve any praise. refinery29.com, 4 Aug. 2021 Yes, the embargo is imperfect, but to act as though therein lies the root of the animosity between the U.S. and Cuba is barbarically ignorant. Aron Ravin, National Review, 20 July 2021 But this new surge is fueled by the willfully ignorant and is almost entirely political, led by several dozen GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill and two governors who are more interested in making a scene than doing their jobs. Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2021 DaBaby has been met with a wave of fallout from others in the music industry after his Rolling Loud set included some ignorant remarks about HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQ community. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 4 Aug. 2021 Evil peasants, dead ignorant, witless mud-wallowers, emmerdeurs, smugglers, thieves. Ew Staff, EW.com, 3 Aug. 2021 There’s this ignorant misconception that accompanies stories of slavery that claim Black people didn’t fight back. Kathleen Newman-bremang, refinery29.com, 30 July 2021

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

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

History and Etymology for ignorant

see ignore

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Time Traveler for ignorant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ignorant

Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ignorant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignorant. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for ignorant

ignorant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ignorant

: lacking knowledge or information
: resulting from or showing a lack of knowledge

ignorant

adjective
ig·​no·​rant | \ ˈig-nə-rənt How to pronounce ignorant (audio) \

Kids Definition of ignorant

1 : having little or no knowledge : not educated
2 : not knowing : unaware They're ignorant of the facts.
3 : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge It was an ignorant mistake.

Other Words from ignorant

ignorantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on ignorant

Nglish: Translation of ignorant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ignorant for Arabic Speakers

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