from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Able to read but not interested in reading.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Disinclined to read though not illiterate, able to read but reluctant or unlikely to read.
  • noun Someone who is able to read but disinclined to do so.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a person who can read but is disinclined to derive information from literary sources


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

a- + literate


  • I would say there are many in my generation that are as "aliterate" as the younger generation mentioned in the LA Times - though I don't know what the percentage comparison would be.

    Re: Read The Whole Thing

  • And if that doesn't work, the aliterate malcontents resort to book burning demonstrations.

    The Mondays: Banned Books Week

  • I, too, thanks to the wonder of the Internet can be a slush reader... publishers give me that factor that the work had to meet the requirements of the publisher to get distributed, thereby eliminating forests full of manuscripts regarded as commercially unviable, most of which I expect I would regard and aliterate and vile.

    Making Light: The "agency model" as I understand it

  • Of course, in fiction the brother would have made something up that implied he had read Cormier's books, and the author would have invited him out to lunch to hear what young people are up to these days, and the brother would have phoned Peter for tips on what to say, and Peter would have insisted on coming along in the role of his own aliterate brother, and ... laffs galore, people!

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • "I could never get that idea, the notion that society in general is becoming aliterate, out of my head," he says.

    Novelist Neal Stephenson Once Again Proves He's the King of the Worlds

  • Unfortunately, the "intelligence" of the video is in the subtext, something that aliterate people would not be able to pick up on if they don't, indeed, "read a book."

    Book Smarts, Street Smarts: So Long at the Fair

  • For high schoolers who are strongly aliterate as opposed to illiterate I have sucessfully gotten them off Spark Notes and Cliff Notes by encouraging them to download the classics from their reading lists. says "Don't Read"

  • As Baron points out, "Many of this generation are aliterate — they know how to read but don't choose to."

    Read The Whole Thing

  • I'm always running into regular dudes--construction workers, auto mechanics, taxi drivers, galoots in general--who were largely aliterate until something made it necessary for them to become readers and start actually thinking about things.

    Interested in the new Christopher Nolan film?

  • Stephenson has also mentioned in an interview that the mathic / extramuros dichotomy was a means for examining the differences between the literate and the aliterate, which he defines as those who can read but choose not to.

    Baby Got Books


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  • Love it.

    November 7, 2007

  • Wordsmith word of the day, November 6, 2007:

    "The avowed aliterate has relinquished an activity that is uniquely human. (Apes can watch TV)."

    - Linton Weeks, The Washington Post, Jul 14, 1996.

    The worst kind of person. At least when you're illiterate, you have an excuse.

    November 7, 2007