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[ig-nuh-rey-muh s, -ram-uh s] /ˌɪg nəˈreɪ məs, -ˈræm əs/
noun, plural ignoramuses.
an extremely ignorant person.
1570-80; < Latin ignōrāmus we ignore (1st person plural present indicative of ignōrāre to be ignorant of, ignore); hence name of an ignorant lawyer in the play Ignoramus (1615) by the English playwright G. Ruggle, whence current sense
simpleton, fool, dunce, know-nothing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ignoramus
  • In the land of subtle savors, my tongue is an ignoramus.
  • For someone who claimed to be mixed race, you are about as much of a white ignoramus as they come.
  • Education is one of those things where every ignoramus and his brother is an expert.
  • Only an ignoramus or a fool could arrive at this conclusion.
  • Ok, you crossed from denier-in-skeptic's clothing to full-on ignoramus with that statement.
British Dictionary definitions for ignoramus


noun (pl) -muses
an ignorant person; fool
Word Origin
C16: from legal Latin, literally: we have no knowledge of, from Latin ignōrāre to be ignorant of; see ignore; modern usage originated from the use of Ignoramus as the name of an unlettered lawyer in a play by G. Ruggle, 17th-century English dramatist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ignoramus

1570s, from an Anglo-French legal term (early 15c.), from Latin ignoramus "we do not know," first person present indicative of ignorare "not to know" (see ignorant). The legal term was one a grand jury could write on a bill when it considered the prosecution's evidence insufficient. Sense of "ignorant person" came from the title role of George Ruggle's 1615 play satirizing the ignorance of common lawyers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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