Definition of illiteracy in English:

illiteracy

noun

mass noun
  • 1The inability to read or write.

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

Pronunciation

illiteracy

/ɪˈlɪt(ə)rəsi/