Definition of semi-literate in English:

semi-literate

adjective

  • 1Unable to read or write with ease or fluency; poorly educated:

    ‘a high proportion of the population is still relatively poor and semi-literate’
    • ‘This is a residential program for illiterate to semi-literate girls between 12 and 18 years with the ambitious objective of returning them to Class 5 in formal schools.’
    • ‘Because I've had this argument a couple of times, and the semi-literate conservatives are always sheepish, a little ashamed, of their lack of writing talent.’
    • ‘Also, semi-literate women should be accorded priority in training to operate the centre, since this is an effective method of enhancing the self-esteem and social prestige of women living in poverty.’
    • ‘Eventually he led me to a semi-literate jewellery salesman with wide-set eyes and a penchant for gold chains.’
    • ‘For the last four years, Vanitha Society - a group of semi-literate women - has been spearheading an HIV / AIDS campaign.’
    • ‘The idea is that a sports writer and a couple of semi-literate ex-players try to work themselves up about this or that issue, and give bold predictions about a player or team's future prospects.’
    • ‘It's only natural that we'd start looking for ‘synergies’, and try to replace ten bloggers with one semi-literate goof in the hopes that readers won't notice. The mind boggles.’
    • ‘Hmm, second time this year I've been on the receiving end of a stream of semi-literate invective (spot the grammatical errors in it).’
    • ‘Her own grandmother probably belonged to that semi-literate mass of women who could read fluently, but not write or ‘figure’.’
    • ‘His father was a poor cobbler with great cultural aspirations and his mother a semi-literate washerwoman.’
    • ‘The leadership passed from intellectuals to semi-literate demagogues.’
    • ‘My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.’
    • ‘The spectacle of the semi-literate president instructing laid-off workers to ‘go get an education’ provided one of the most memorable impressions of the evening.’
    • ‘Perhaps your writer has become confused after reading through too many press releases written by semi-literate American PR people, or perhaps he is foreign himself.’
    • ‘Most of these men were semi-literate, speaking only Malayalam and ignorant of the territory and hence strangers to the Urdu speaking Pakistanis.’
    • ‘Combine television viewing with countless hours logged onto the Internet, and one could argue that Americans have degenerated into a society of semi-literate loners.’
    • ‘Illiterate and semi-literate women are operating and repairing energy systems.’
    • ‘But apparently, the economically semi-literate numbskulls at the New Pravda - and the rest of the mainstream press - still can't be bothered to get the facts straight.’
    • ‘They were semi-literate with very little English.’
    • ‘Furthermore, its efforts are only attractive to the elderly who are eager to learn to read and write and less attractive to the semi-literate youth who want to acquire skills that would turn them into entrepreneurs and artisans.’
    1. 1.1 (of a text) poorly written:
      ‘the semi-literate glossies’
      • ‘Or, if deciding between right or wrong was too taxing, they could simply text in semi-literate messages to the show instead.’
      • ‘Theresa is depicted with all her boyfriends and their semi-literate love/hate letters.’
      • ‘It is doubtless the case that many slush-pile readers use the ‘basic command of English’ test as a preliminary filter; they discard immediately those books which may be described as semi-literate.’
      • ‘As well as a few semi-literate requests for obscure albums, we are now apparently subscribed to Reclusion's newsletter.’
      • ‘The first was the semi-literate, naive nature of the letters implying these are some of the least educated, least switched on members of society, often on income support or some other kind of benefit.’

Pronunciation

semi-literate

/sɛmɪˈlɪt(ə)rət/