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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Illiteracy'

Illiteracy Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    illiteracy n
  1. ignorance resulting from not reading
  2. an inability to read [syn: analphabetism] [ant: literacy]
Illiteracy Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Illiteracy \Il*lit"er*a*cy\, n.; pl. Illiteracies. [From Illiterate.]
  1. The state of being illiterate, or uneducated; want of learning, or knowledge; ignorance; specifically, inability to read and write; as, the illiteracy shown by the last census.
  2. An instance of ignorance; a literary blunder. The many blunders and illiteracies of the first publishers of his [Shakespeare's] works. --Pope.

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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Illiteracy'

Literacy means the ability to read and write. Being able to read and write is an important skill in modern societies. Usually, people learn how to read and write at school. People who can read and write are called literate; those who cannot are called illiterate.

According to the United Nations, illiteracy is not being able to write or read a simple sentence in any language. The UN estimated, that in 1998, about 16% of the world's population were illiterate.

Illiteracy is highest amongst the states of the Arab peninsula, and in Africa, around the Sahara. In those countries about 30% of men, and 40-50% of women are illiterate, by the UN definition. One of the causes of illiteracy is that someone who can manage to live without being able to read and write often does not have any reason to want to learn to read and write. Cultural factors also play a part, such as having a culture in which the oral tradition (communicating by speaking) is more important than writing. A tribe that mostly herds livestock, for example, may have no need to read or write.

[See more about Illiteracy at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]

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