From the Latin litteratus




countable and uncountable; plural illiteracies

Illiteracy (countable and uncountable; plural illiteracies)
  1. (uncountable) The inability to read.
    Illiteracy is widespread in certain areas of the country.
  2. (uncountable) The portion of a population unable to read, generally given as a percentage.
  3. (countable) A word, phrase, or grammatical turn thought to be characteristic of an illiterate person.


portion of a population unable to read
  • 1920, In 1916 ten provinces had an illiteracy of over 70 per cent, and but five had less than 40 per cent. — Ellwood Patterson Cubberley, The History of education: Educational Practice and Progress Considered as a Phase of the Development and Spread of Western Civilization Houghton Mifflin p. 715
  • 1951, No Turkish reformation could be successful that tolerated an illiteracy of 85 per cent among its people. — Victor Lincoln Albjerg, Esther Marguerite Hall Albjerg, Merguerite Hall Albjerg, Europe from 1914 to the Present McGraw-Hill p. 449
  • 1982, In comparison, ten years before that, there was still an illiteracy of 82.1% among women, and 55.2% among men (Statistical Yearbook 1974). — Ellen T. Ismail, Social Environment and Daily Routine of Sudanese Women, ISBN 3496005262, p. 59
  • 1999, On the other hand, the political structure, characterized by an ineffective administration, a corrupt electoral system, an illiteracy of some 75 percent, and an antiquated educational system, was unable to develop in Spain a capitalist democracy of the level of the rest of Europe. — David T. Gies, The Cambridge Companion to Modern Spanish Culture ISBN 0521574293 p. 21
word, phrase, or grammatical turn of an illiterate person
  • 1975, "Widow woman" is an illiteracy. — Harry Shaw, Dictionary of Problem Words and Expressions ISBN 0070564892 p. 257
  • 1983, The phrase could of is an illiteracy, since of is not a verb. — Morton S. Freeman, A Treasury for Word Lovers ISBN 0894950274 p. 53
  • 1997, Friendly as an adverb (‘He talked friendly to me') is an illiteracy. — Eric Partridge, Usage and Abusage: a guide to good English : abusus non tollit usum ISBN 0393037614 p. 121



Related termsModificar

et:illiteracy el:illiteracy fa:illiteracy fr:illiteracy kn:illiteracy hu:illiteracy pl:illiteracy fi:illiteracy ta:illiteracy vi:illiteracy zh:illiteracy

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