• WordNet 3.6
    • adj illiterate uneducated in the fundamentals of a given art or branch of learning; lacking knowledge of a specific field "she is ignorant of quantum mechanics","he is musically illiterate"
    • adj illiterate lacking culture, especially in language and literature
    • adj illiterate not able to read or write
    • n illiterate a person unable to read
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • illiterate Ignorant of letters or books; having little or no learning; unlettered; uncultivated: as, the illiterate part of the population; an illiterate tribe. In census statistics and educational works illiterate is used in the specific sense of unable to read; but in common use it implies only a notable or boorish want of culture, a person unable to read being said to be totally illiterate.
    • illiterate Showing illiteracy or want of culture; rude; barbarous.
    • illiterate Synonyms Unlettered, Unlearned, etc. See ignorant.
    • n illiterate An illiterate person; one unable to read or to write.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Illiterate il-lit′ėr-āt not learned: uninstructed: ignorant
    • Illiterate a term used to designate those persons who are unable to read or write or both
    • ***


  • Werner Herzog
    Werner Herzog
    “You should look straight at a film; that's the only way to see one. Film is not the art of scholars but of illiterates.”
  • Walter Lippmann
    “No amount of charters, direct primaries, or short ballots will make a democracy out of an illiterate people.”
  • Walt Whitman
    “There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius.”
  • Kelvin Throop III
    Kelvin Throop III
    “There is no such thing as a functional illiterate.”
  • Alvin Toffler
    Alvin Toffler
    “The illiterate of the future are not those that cannot read or write. They are those that can not learn, unlearn, relearn.”
  • Aleister Crowley
    “The ordinary man looking at a mountain is like an illiterate person confronted with a Greek manuscript.”


In literature:

The "marauder chasing niggers" has left a grandson who is illiterate, uncultured and thriftless.
"Twentieth Century Negro Literature" by Various
What people, penniless, illiterate, has done so well?
"Modern Eloquence: Vol II, After-Dinner Speeches E-O" by Various
A short one in a large, scrambling, illiterate hand with a signature that might mean anything.
"Prisoners" by Mary Cholmondeley
This is certainly a remarkable programme to be filled by illiterate soldiers with only six months' training.
"Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, August, 1878" by Various
She would, until now, have summed them all up as illiterate, awkward, and impossibly backward and shy.
"Judith of Blue Lake Ranch" by Jackson Gregory
The man who insists that all folks shall work, be they holy or secular, learned or illiterate, always has a hard road to travel.
"Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers" by Elbert Hubbard
According to the last census the proportion of illiterates among the recruits for the army was 0.02 per cent.
"Germany and the Germans" by Price Collier
I am a presumed illiterate.
"A Pagan of the Hills" by Charles Neville Buck
The army of illiterates would repeople Delaware and Nevada.
"Aliens or Americans?" by Howard B. Grose
That poet always said, that the protector himself was not so wholly illiterate as was commonly imagined.
"The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part E. From Charles I. to Cromwell" by David Hume

In news:

A new method of informed consent for illiterate populations.
The plot follows an obese, illiterate Harlem girl's struggle to turn her life around after being impregnated twice by her father.
The cult of Our Lady of Fatima is based on appearances of the Virgin Mary, in 1917, to three illiterate children praying in a field near the Portuguese village of Fatima .
In 1990 the percentage of illiterates worldwide fell to 27 percent from 39 percent 20 years earlier and is projected to drop to 22 percent by the year 2000.
A fourth of the world's adults are illiterate, but the problem is not confined to developing nations.
Learning Center serves community's illiterate .
Have antidepressants made young people 'emotionally illiterate '.
A Kurdish man who is deaf, illiterate and unable to speak is facing 25 years in prison for allegedly supporting terrorism in Turkey.
Library's cyber-navigators help digitally illiterate patrons access social services.
Illiterate teen's chance encounter with teacher put him on path to college: Jarvis DeBerry.
Are We Really Geo- Illiterate .
Illiterate clown triumphs in election.
Ousted Mac Man Was Computer Illiterate .
Time's Fareed Zakaria: An intellectually credentialed innumerate (illiterate).
Some 68 million people in Arab countries are illiterate, an "alarming proportion" that threatens development, an Arab League cultural official said.