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Definition of "illiteracy" []

  • The condition of being unable to read and write. (noun)
  • An error, as in writing or speech, made by or thought to be characteristic of one who is illiterate. See Usage Note at literate. (noun)
  • The condition or quality of being ignorant or unknowledgeable in a particular subject or field: cultural illiteracy; scientific illiteracy. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "illiteracy" in a sentence
  • "Our priorities are all wrong when a one-percent interest rate increase makes the headlines but a 10-percent increase in illiteracy is relegated to the back pages."
  • "A word of warning is needed against the assumption of some writers who would exalt the genius of Ruysbroeck by dwelling on what they term his illiteracy and ignorance."
  • "They probably are invested in "literacy" as a social ideal -- and I don't think illiteracy is an acceptable alternative -- and from this perspective they really aren't interested in Literature at all: Any port in a storm will do."