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ignoramus

[ig-nuh-rey-muh s, -ram-uh s] /ˌɪg nəˈreɪ məs, -ˈræm əs/
noun, plural ignoramuses.
1.
an extremely ignorant person.
Origin of ignoramus
1570-1580
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
Synonyms
simpleton, fool, dunce, know-nothing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ignoramus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is no ignoramus, either, for he must be able to read and write and understand geography to get any good out of that memorandum.

    The Ghost Breaker Charles Goddard
  • But I am only an ignoramus, and certainly failed to understand everything in it.

  • The skilful writer expects reasonable accuracy, the ignoramus wants printers to be Macaulays and mind-readers as well.

    The Magazine Style-Code Leigh H. Irvine
  • Here is an ignoramus, and Dogberry is placed on the judge's bench.

    The American Mind Bliss Perry
  • I would rather remain an ignoramus than develop a pretty wit for another's dole.

    Mauprat George Sand
  • From this Claude went on to remark with asperity that Murillo painted like an ignoramus.

  • But the jury returned the bill with ignoramus on it, and so found no indictment.

  • Which does not by any means prove that young Tom was an ignoramus.

    Rim o' the World B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for ignoramus

ignoramus

/ˌɪɡnəˈreɪməs/
noun (pl) -muses
1.
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
n.

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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