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[ih-lit-er-uh-see] /ɪˈlɪt ər ə si/
noun, plural illiteracies for 3.
a lack of ability to read and write.
the state of being illiterate; lack of any or enough education.
a mistake in writing or speaking, felt to be characteristic of an illiterate or semiliterate person:
a letter that was full of illiteracies.
1650-60; illiter(ate) + -acy
Related forms
semi-illiteracy, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for illiteracy
  • The message is that there is no moral stigma attached to illiteracy.
  • There is indeed an example of mathematical illiteracy here--to be found not in the daily chart but among the comments.
  • Almost all the comments about scientists and science show profound scientific illiteracy.
  • Our world is shaped by widespread statistical illiteracy.
  • illiteracy may not be as much of a problem as job skills.
  • Don't blame science for the irresponsibility and scientific illiteracy of main-stream media.
  • Life expectancy is falling, illiteracy rising, crime rife.
  • One of the reasons that labor cost is so cheap today is because of the high rate of illiteracy and the high demand for employment.
  • Yes, this economic illiteracy really did take place in a deregulated market.
  • Television presents a potent challenge to newspapers in a region plagued by illiteracy.
Word Origin and History for illiteracy

1650s, from illiterate + -cy. Earlier in this sense was illiterature (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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