Definition of literacy in US English:

literacy

noun

  • 1The ability to read and write.

    • ‘There is work on effective teaching initiatives and initiatives for adult literacy.’
    • ‘Ms Clark said that while the Government was taking steps to tackle the problem of low adult literacy, there is still much work to be done.’
    • ‘We have recently seen many important educational policy initiatives in the area of children's literacy.’
    • ‘What then happens to efforts to increase female literacy and encourage girls to go to school?’
    • ‘The identification of adult literacy as a major problem has, of course, been a focus of this Government.’
    • ‘One in five adults has poor literacy skills and it is many of these who cannot find employment.’
    • ‘It also helps parents and carers to ‘brush up’ on their own skills in literacy and numeracy.’
    • ‘Thus, the parents have not had many opportunities to use and improve their English literacy.’
    • ‘Less than 40 percent of children complete primary school and functional adult literacy is as low as 22 percent.’
    • ‘Innovative programmes successfully encouraged adults to develop their literacy and numeracy skills.’
    • ‘It outlawed literacy tests and poll taxes as a way of assessing whether anyone was fit or unfit to vote.’
    • ‘There is low literacy among the survey population, and this was an additional limitation.’
    • ‘The government has concentrated its efforts more on youth than on adult literacy.’
    • ‘If you've got too much cash, give it to an adult literacy program or some other charity.’
    • ‘Its treasures must be plundered and used to fund literacy programmes and childcare.’
    • ‘But the yardstick to measure the literacy rate is just the ability to read and write one's name.’
    • ‘The variety of language used at home and school has a direct bearing on children's literacy.’
    • ‘Her students must not only develop literacy in their first language but also prepare themselves to survive academically in English.’
    • ‘Recently, these schools began restructuring their early literacy programs in both English and Spanish.’
    • ‘Work will also be carried out to promote family literacy and numeracy projects, such as staging adult learning classes.’
    ability to read and write, reading ability, writing ability, reading proficiency, writing proficiency
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Competence or knowledge in a specified area.
      ‘wine literacy can't be taught in three hours’
      • ‘In fact, many of the activities that are used to teach media literacy take this approach.’
      • ‘Inadequate health literacy was identified in 16 participants.’
      • ‘This is the challenge of actually tapping the talent and cultural literacy in our diverse population.’
      • ‘He even suggested use of pirated software may promote computer literacy.’
      • ‘They work to improve Third World women's economic literacy and access to education.’
      • ‘Financial literacy improved with work experience and income.’
      • ‘It's not computer literacy these lost kids need, but cultural literacy.’
      • ‘Patients with inadequate health literacy are more likely to be hospitalized than patients with adequate skills.’
      • ‘Basic computer literacy and an interest in making things are the only requirements.’
      • ‘Group lessons can, therefore, establish the instructional model that can enhance the emotional literacy of every piano student.’

Origin

Late 19th century: from literate, on the pattern of illiteracy.

Pronunciation