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

  • n. An ignorant person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. A stupid, ignorant person; a vain pretender to knowledge; a dunce.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. n. An ignorant person; especially, one who lacks necessary knowledge; an ignorant pretender to knowledge.

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

  • n. an ignorant person


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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)
Directly from Latin ignōrāmus ("we do not know"). (Wiktionary)



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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