1) ADJ Someone who is illiterate does not know how to read or write.

A large percentage of the population is illiterate.

An illiterate is someone who is illiterate. educational centre for illiterates.

2) ADJ: usu adv ADJ If you describe someone as musically, technologically, or economically illiterate, you mean that they do not know much about music, technology, or economics.

Many senior managers are technologically illiterate.

English dictionary. 2008.

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  • illiterate — UK US /ɪˈlɪtərət/ adjective ► unable to read and write: »More than half of the country s population of 8m are illiterate. ► knowing little or nothing about a particular subject: »to be computer illiterate »economically/financially/technologically …   Financial and business terms

  • illiterate — [i lit′ər it] adj. [L illiteratus, unlettered: see IN 2 & LITERATE] 1. ignorant; uneducated; esp., not knowing how to read or write 2. having or showing limited knowledge, experience, or culture, esp. in some particular field [musically… …   English World dictionary

  • Illiterate — Il*lit er*ate, a. [L. illiteratus: pref. il not + literatus learned. See {In } not, and {Literal}.] Unable to read or write; ignorant of letters or books; unlettered; uninstructed; uneducated; as, an illiterate man, or people. Syn: Ignorant;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • illiterate — (adj.) early 15c., uneducated, unable to read (originally of Latin), from L. illiteratus unlearned, unlettered, ignorant; without culture, inelegant, from assimilated form of in not, opposite of (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + literatus, lit. furnished… …   Etymology dictionary

  • illiterate — illiterate, innumerate Illiterate (16c) means ‘unable to read or write’ or ‘poorly educated’; innumerate (20c) means ‘having no knowledge of or aptitude for the principles of mathematics’. The corresponding positive forms literate and numerate… …   Modern English usage

  • illiterate — ► ADJECTIVE 1) unable to read or write. 2) ignorant in a particular subject or activity; politically illiterate. DERIVATIVES illiteracy noun illiterately adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • illiterate — index unversed Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • illiterate — adj unlettered, uneducated, untaught, *ignorant, untutored, unlearned Antonyms: literate Contrasted words: taught, instructed, educated, schooled (see TEACH) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • illiterate — [adj] unable to read well; lacking education benighted, catachrestic, ignorant, inerudite, solecistic, uneducated, unenlightened, ungrammatical, uninstructed, unlearned, unlettered, unread, unschooled, untaught, untutored; concept 402 Ant. able,… …   New thesaurus

  • illiterate — adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Latin illiteratus, from in + litteratus literate Date: 15th century 1. having little or no education; especially unable to read or write < an illiterate population > 2. a. showing or marked by a lack of… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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