From the Latin litteratus
NounModificarIlliteracy (countable and uncountable; plural illiteracies)
- (uncountable) The inability to read.
- Illiteracy is widespread in certain areas of the country.
- (uncountable) The portion of a population unable to read, generally given as a percentage.
- (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
inability to read
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