One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Unable to read or write, illiterate (now rare). Later, more generally: unacquainted with, or uninterested in, literature or writing; characterized by a lack of learning or education; unliterary. Also as noun (with the): illiterate or unliterary people as a class.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Hall's Vnion: Henry IV. From un- + literate.
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