Definitions

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

  • noun An ignorant person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In law, an indorsement, meaning ‘we ignore it,’ which a grand jury formerly made on a bill presented to it for inquiry, when there was not evidence to support the charges, by virtue of which indorsement all proceedings were stopped, and the accused person was discharged.
  • noun n. An ignorant person; especially, one who lacks necessary knowledge; an ignorant pretender to knowledge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Law) We are ignorant; we ignore; -- being the word formerly written on a bill of indictment by a grand jury when there was not sufficient evidence to warrant them in finding it a true bill. The phrase now used is, “No bill,” “No true bill,” or “Not found,” though in some jurisdictions “Ignored” is still used.
  • noun A stupid, ignorant person; a vain pretender to knowledge; a dunce.

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

  • noun law, dated A grand jury's ruling on an indictment when the evidence is determined to be insufficient to send the case to trial.
  • noun A totally ignorant person—unknowledgeable, uneducated, or uninformed; a fool.

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

  • noun an ignorant person

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From New Latin ignōrāmus, a grand jury's endorsement upon a bill of indictment when evidence is deemed insufficient to send the case to a trial jury, from Latin, we do not know, first person pl. present tense of ignōrāre, to be ignorant; see ignore.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Directly from Latin ignōrāmus ("we do not know").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

After the ignorant lawyer Ignoramus, the titular character in the 1615 play Ignoramus by the English playwright Georges Ruggle; from Latin ignōrāmus ("we do not know, we are ignorant of"), the first-person plural present active indicative of īgnōrō ("I do not know, I am unacquainted with, I am ignorant of").

Examples

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  • ...the stranger mate expressed his detestation of his Captain as a conceited ignoramus, who had brought them all into so unsavory and unprofitable a pickle.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 91

    July 29, 2008