ignoramus

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n ignoramus an ignorant person
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ignoramus A stupid, ignorant person; a vain pretender to knowledge; a dunce. "An ignoramus in place and power."
    • Ignoramus (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.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ignoramus 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. It is now superseded in some States by the phrase “not a true bill,” or “not found”; but the jury is still said to ignore the bill or the indictment. The indorsement “ignoramus” on a bill returned by a grand jury properly implied no more than that the jury deemed it inexpedient to pursue the matter; but it was often taken as an indication of ignorance or stupidity on the part of the jury, thus leading to the present familiar use as an English noun. Also used attributively.
    • n ignoramus n. An ignorant person; especially, one who lacks necessary knowledge; an ignorant pretender to knowledge.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ignoramus ig-nō-rā′mus the word formerly written by a grand-jury on the back of an indictment, meaning that they rejected it: an ignorant person, esp. one making a pretence to knowledge
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., we are ignorant. See Ignore
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L., 'We are ignorant,' 1st pers. pl. pres. indic. of ignorāre.

Usage

In literature:

I won't have my child mistaught by an ignoramus.
"Jokes For All Occasions" by Anonymous
He felt himself to be an ignoramus among a company of brilliant experts.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
She realized that Helen was by no means the ignoramus Belle and Hortense said.
"The Girl from Sunset Ranch" by Amy Bell Marlowe
I'll put a few questions that no one but an ignoramus would ask in good faith.
"The Submarine Hunters" by Percy F. Westerman
Ruggles' Ignoramus, Comoedia, 518.
"Notes and Queries, Index of Volume 3, January-June, 1851" by Various
I will not grow up an ignoramus.
"When Life Was Young" by C. A. Stephens
You are an ignoramus, an unlearned man, ignorant of all good rules; an ass, in plain English.
"The Jealousy of le Barbouillé" by Jean Baptiste Poquelin de Molière
I'm an ignoramus about guard duty, anyway, and I'll wager the guard got on better without me, after all.
"Uncle Sam's Boys as Sergeants" by H. Irving Hancock
I do not think he particularly desired my services; but, on the other hand, I was not an absolute ignoramus.
"The Message" by Alec John Dawson
There was not one of them such a nautical ignoramus as to believe himself within sigh of land.
"The Ocean Waifs" by Mayne Reid
Think of calling George Stephenson "an ignoramus, a fool, a maniac," in Parliament, yet such was done.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 6 of 8" by Various
What an ignoramus I am!
"Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess" by Henry W. Fischer
Some ignoramus, or some wit, had dubbed him the King of Ireland, and he was playing to the part.
"The O'Ruddy" by Stephen Crane
If he was the unevolved ignoramus here he remains precisely that in the astral world.
"Elementary Theosophy" by L. W. Rogers
If he persists after that, he is either an ignoramus or drunk.
"The Art of Lecturing" by Arthur M. (Arthur Morrow) Lewis
A little ignoramus, not worth a measure of acorns, a little beast, God save the comparison.
"The Grandee" by Armando Palacio Valdés
But the jury returned the bill with IGNORAMUS on it, and so found no indictment.
"The Trial of Theodore Parker" by Theodore Parker
He is a perfect ignoramus.
"Josephine" by John S. C. Abbott
If papa was an ignoramus, of whom I never thought any thing, the son is still worse, with a greater infusion of childishness.
"Specimens of German Romance; Vol. II. Master Flea" by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
I was a real ignoramus, wasn't I, except in mathematics.
"Helen Grant's Schooldays" by Amanda M. Douglas
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In poetry:

SONGS are like painted window-panes!
In darkness wrapp'd the church remains,
If from the market-place we view it;
Thus sees the ignoramus through it.
No wonder that he deems it tame,—
And all his life 'twill be the same.
"Songs" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In news:

Today's Ignoramus -Nation Moment: 'Best Revenge'.
While George Was Calling Donald a 'Bloviating Ignoramus '.
Chris Christie calls Eugene Robinson an ' ignoramus .
Romney can keep the high ground by graciously conceding that Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States, and Trump plays the "bloviating ignoramus" who revs up the birthers.
But say an ignoramus like myself began proclaiming that polyandry or polygamy were civil rights, too.
Considering myself a technological ignoramus, I appreciate a Beacon columnist doing my Internet surfing.
Bob Costas, an admitted ignoramus on the issue of the Second Amendment, chose halftime in a nationally broadcast football game to infect the world with his uneducated opinion on gun rights.
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In science:

No modern commentator fails to note that, fundamentally, light is a stream of photons without branding himself an ignoramus.
Quantum complimentarity, erasers and photons
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