One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Well-educated people who are interested in literature.
intellectuals, intelligent people, academics, scholars, learned people, culturati, men and women of letters, cognoscenti, illuminati, highbrows, bluestockings, thinkers, brainsView synonyms
- ‘She's not a great fan of theirs either, and if her success proves anything, it's that fiction has been reclaimed from the literati.’
- ‘The elite literati too adopted the fashion, and greatly influenced the designs.’
- ‘The first, and the more obvious one, is that it has drawn high praise from every echelon of the British literati, winning both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Prize for poetry this year.’
- ‘I would tend to give him more credence if he was living in Scotland rather than being one of the London literati.’
- ‘The visiting literati included the poet laureate Ted Hughes and his wife, Sylvia Plath.’
- ‘One of three brothers renowned for their abilities as essayists and Confucian literati, he earned the highest degree in the examination system in 1592.’
- ‘His work has been praised by such respected literati as Muriel Spark, J. G. Ballard, William H. Gass, James Hynes and Peter Matthiessen.’
- ‘The historical dramatist had worse to fear than the sneers of the literati.’
- ‘Most of these ‘fighting Brahmins’ were neither scholars nor literati.’
- ‘The national culture of literati who regarded him as the most important figure of the area built a shrine for him that reflected their perceptions of his status.’
- ‘That she's abandoning a decent husband because he doesn't fit with the literati and power-brokers among whom she now flits is both despicable and inevitable.’
- ‘Unfortunately, much of her work has been ignored, partly because she was eclipsed, as a woman, by the male literati of the Harlem Renaissance.’
- ‘No scholar can describe it, the intellectuals cannot know it, the literati and writers cannot recognise it.’
- ‘The story appears to have been popular among the literati of the Heian period.’
- ‘This gives an idea of the variety of methods of broadcasting their ideas that the Scottish literati used, from the pamphlet to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.’
- ‘And there is plenty of humor at a drinking party of Bolivian literati.’
- ‘He notes that the relations between the literati (mostly commoners) and this nobility were complex.’
- ‘The move has horrified the nation's literati in a country where serious literature is a serious business and popular with the masses.’
- ‘The apparent juxtaposition of literati and merchant culture at opposite ends of the east wall is misleading.’
- ‘We do not see the big thick books which were bloody boring and of no real interest either to the literati or the hoi polloi.’
Early 17th century: from Latin, plural of literatus ‘acquainted with letters’, from littera (see letter).
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