Definition of illiteracy in English:

illiteracy

noun

mass noun
  • 1The inability to read or write.

    ‘the ineffective educational system meant that illiteracy was widespread’
    • ‘Rural adult illiteracy is a matter of alarming concern.’
    • ‘We should therefore make the tackling of illiteracy a priority in 2004.’
    • ‘Adult illiteracy fell from 37 percent in 1978 to less than 17 percent in 1999.’
    • ‘Illiteracy is not obvious to casual inspection and may be difficult to detect through simple questioning.’
    • ‘The surname could also have changed form when migration is combined with illiteracy.’
    • ‘When North Korea faced the task of building a new national culture, it faced a serious problem of illiteracy.’
    • ‘The literacy rate for women has stagnated, and, in certain regions, the level of female illiteracy is very high.’
    • ‘His illiteracy means that he didn't read the warnings on his medication, leading to a dangerous reaction.’
    • ‘Standards of education, while high during the 1970s, have slumped dramatically and illiteracy rates have soared.’
    • ‘Poverty and illiteracy characterized southern Italy, where two-thirds of the immigrants originated.’
    • ‘Rumor has particular currency in Tibet because illiteracy is high, some say, particularly in rural areas.’
    • ‘By 1939, illiteracy had been reduced to 12 percent and was less than 1 percent in 2000.’
    • ‘Further, there are social issues that are negatively impacted by this very topic of illiteracy.’
    • ‘Illiteracy has a new enemy, and it comes in the shape of the new Miss America.’
    • ‘The consequences of illiteracy are far reaching.’
    • ‘Even in Managua, the Nicaraguan capital, the illiteracy rate is very high.’
    • ‘Illiteracy rates among year three students were cut in half.’
    • ‘I will never forget a poster devoted to the eradication of illiteracy.’
    • ‘Functional illiteracy is considered anything less than a seventh-grade reading level.’
    • ‘He emphasised the need for removing illiteracy.’
    illiterateness, inability to read or write
    ignorance, unawareness, inexperience, unenlightenment, benightedness, lack of knowledge, lack of education
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Lack of knowledge in a particular subject; ignorance.
      ‘his economic illiteracy’
      • ‘Americans seem to be particularly notorious for their geographic illiteracy.’
      • ‘Of course, scientific illiteracy is a real problem, but it is not the only problem with which rapid scientific advancement confronts us.’
      • ‘He says theological illiteracy is now rampant.’
      • ‘What we actually find today is a frightening biblical illiteracy, even in churches where the Bible is regarded as central.’
      • ‘In an era of biblical illiteracy, this approach will help some.’
      • ‘I get annoyed by the illiteracy of the debate.’
      • ‘Australians are not immune to the financial illiteracy problem and symptoms here, just as elsewhere, abound.’
      • ‘Perhaps the religious illiteracy of so many otherwise well-educated young Catholics is too familiar to bear mentioning again.’
      • ‘I provide this here so that you may see the magnitude of the battle we are waging against ignorance and scientific illiteracy.’
      • ‘Ordinarily, such arguments would be dismissed as economic illiteracy.’
      • ‘Businessmen habitually complain about the economic illiteracy of the public, and with good reason.’
      • ‘Moreover, this stubborn illiteracy is being actively spread by its fundamentalist churches to other parts of the world.’
      • ‘Yet even as we rely on numbers, we are bedeviled by innumeracy, the mathematical equivalent of illiteracy.’
      • ‘This sounds like a conspiracy of some sort, to lull our aggressive adolescents into a lobotomized state of social and political illiteracy.’

Pronunciation

illiteracy

/ɪˈlɪt(ə)rəsi/