Definitions

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

  • noun The condition of being unable to read and write.
  • noun An error, as in writing or speech, made by or thought to be characteristic of one who is illiterate.
  • noun The condition or quality of being ignorant or unknowledgeable in a particular subject or field.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being illiterate; ignorance of letters; absence of education.
  • noun An error in the use of letters; a literal or a literary error.

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

  • noun The state of being illiterate, or uneducated; lack of learning, or knowledge; ignorance; specifically, inability to read and write.
  • noun An instance of ignorance; a literary blunder.

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

  • noun uncountable The inability to read.
  • noun uncountable The portion of a population unable to read, generally given as a percentage.
  • noun countable A word, phrase, or grammatical turn thought to be characteristic of an illiterate person.

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

  • noun ignorance resulting from not reading
  • noun an inability to read

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

in- +‎ literacy

Examples

Comments

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  • The phrase ' The 3 R's ' ( standing for 'reading, writing and arithmetic' ) was created by Sir William Curtis, who was illiterate.

    May 7, 2008

  • Our real illiteracy is our inability to create.

    (Friedensreich Hundertwasser, painter and architect)

    September 17, 2009