Definitions

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

  • adjective Able to read and write.
  • adjective Knowledgeable or educated in a particular field or fields.
  • adjective Familiar with literature; literary.
  • adjective Well-written; polished.
  • noun A person who is literate.
  • noun People who are literate, considered as a group.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who can read and write: opposed to illiterate.
  • Having a knowledge of letters; possessing education; instructed: opposed to illiterate.
  • Of or pertaining to letters; learned; literary.
  • Marked with short, angulated lines resembling letters: applied to the surfaces of shells and insects.
  • noun A man of letters; a learned or literary man.
  • noun An educated man who has not taken a university degree; especially, a candidate for holy orders who has not been educated at a university.

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

  • noun engraving One educated, but not having taken a university degree; especially, such a person who is prepared to take holy orders.
  • noun A literary man.
  • adjective Instructed in learning, science, or literature; learned; lettered.

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

  • adjective Able to read and write; having literacy.
  • adjective Knowledgeable in literature, writing; literary; well-read.
  • adjective Which is used in writing (of a language or dialect).
  • noun A person who is able to read and write

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

  • noun a person who can read and write
  • adjective knowledgeable and educated in one or several fields
  • adjective versed in literature; dealing with literature
  • adjective able to read and write

Etymologies

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

[Middle English litterate, from Latin litterātus, from littera, lītera, letter; see letter.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin litteratus.

Examples

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