Definition of functionally illiterate in US English:

functionally illiterate


  • Lacking the literacy necessary for coping with most jobs and many everyday situations.

    • ‘Until the 1980s when the Sandinistas launched their literacy campaign, half of the Nicaraguan population was functionally illiterate.’
    • ‘According to a study performed by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, 53% of workers ages 16 and older in the Los Angeles region are considered functionally illiterate.’
    • ‘Several of these parents were either illiterate or functionally illiterate in Spanish and did not speak English.’
    • ‘Many were illiterate or functionally illiterate in Spanish.’
    • ‘Previous figures estimate the number of functionally illiterate adults as high as 12 million.’
    • ‘Paradoxically, because of heightened expectations and increased technological demands, many people who have exceeded traditional literacy criteria are now considered semiliterate or functionally illiterate.’
    • ‘Quoting a recent report by the Basic Skills Agency, it said: ‘In the land of Shakespeare and Waugh, one in five adults is functionally illiterate.’’
    • ‘Studies show that more than 20 per cent of Irish adults are functionally illiterate, and that many people so disadvantaged are reluctant to admit to their situation in order to obtain the available assistance.’
    • ‘A recent video released by the American Medical Association reported that about onehalf of Americans have low health literacy and one-fifth are functionally illiterate.’
    • ‘We can argue about whether society is, in some structural way, still somehow to blame for Cincinnati's idle, functionally illiterate young dealers, but let's not brand employers as racist.’