ignorant
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈɪɡnəɹənt/
Adjective

ignorant (comparative ignoranter, superlative ignorantest)

  1. Unknowledgeable or uneducated; characterized by ignorance.
    • 1664, John Tillotson, The Wisdom of Being Religious, London: Sa[muel] Gellibrand, p. 9,
      That man that doth not know those things which are of use and necessity for him to know, is but an ignorant man, whatever he may know besides;
    • 1766, Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield, London: F. Newbery, Volume I, Chapter 15, p. 150,
      The ignorant peasant, without fault, is greater than the philosopher with many; for what is genius or courage without an heart?
  2. Not knowing (a fact or facts), unaware (of something).
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Second Epistle to the Corinthians 1:8,
      For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
    • 1677, John Dryden, The State of Innocence and Fall of Man, London: Henry Herringman, Act II, p. 14,
      Eve. Somewhat forbids me, which I cannot name;
      For ignorant of guilt, I fear not shame:
      But some restraining thought, I know not why,
      Tells me, you long should beg, I long deny.
    • 1851, Walt Whitman, “Art and Artists” in Emory Holloway (editor), The Uncollected Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1921, Volume 1, p. 242,
      […] perhaps it is sometimes the case that the greatest artists live and die, the world and themselves alike ignorant what they possess.
    • 1921, John T. McCutcheon, The Restless Age, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, p. 179,
      That night he slept the sleep of happiness, blissfully ignorant that he had placed the letters in the wrong envelopes.
  3. (slang) Ill-mannered, crude.
    His manner was at best off-hand, at worst totally ignorant.
  4. (obsolete) unknown; undiscovered
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act IV, Scene 2,
      Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?
    • c. 1610, William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act I, Scene 2,
      […] I beseech you,
      If you know aught which does behove my knowledge
      Thereof to be inform’d, imprison't not
      In ignorant concealment.
    • 1845, Robert Browning, letter addressed to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, cited in Percy Lubbock, Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Her Letters, London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1906, Chapter 4, p. 106,
      […] as to you, your goodness and understanding will always see to the bottom of involuntary or ignorant faults—always help me to correct them.
  5. Resulting from ignorance; foolish; silly.
    • c. 1609, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act III, Scene 1,
      […] his shipping—
      Poor ignorant baubles!— upon our terrible seas,
      Like eggshells moved upon their surges, crack’d
      As easily ’gainst our rocks:
    • 1916, Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger edited by Albert Paine, New York: Harper & Bros., Chapter 8, p. 112,
      He had never felt a pain or a sorrow, and did not know what they were, in any really informing way. He had no knowledge of them except theoretically—that is to say, intellectually. And of course that is no good. One can never get any but a loose and ignorant notion of such things except by experience.
Synonyms Related terms

Translations Noun

ignorant (plural ignorants)

  1. One who is ignorant.



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