Analphabetic – Definition & Meaning

The term “analphabetic” is not a commonly used word in everyday speech, but it has a unique meaning that is worth exploring. This article will delve into the definition, origin, and associations of the word “analphabetic,” as well as its synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


The word “analphabetic” is an adjective that describes someone who is illiterate or unable to read or write. It can also refer to something that is not written or expressed in letters, such as a language that is not written down or a message conveyed through symbols or images rather than words.


The word “analphabetic” comes from the Greek word “analphabētos,” which means “not knowing the alphabet.” The prefix “an-” means “not,” and “alphabet” refers to the letters of a language arranged in a specific order. The term was first used in English in the mid-19th century.

Meaning in different dictionaries

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “analphabetic” is defined as “being without an alphabet or without knowledge of an alphabet.” The Oxford English Dictionary offers a similar definition, describing it as “not knowing the letters of the alphabet; illiterate.” In the Collins English Dictionary, “analphabetic” is defined as “illiterate; not knowing the alphabet.”


The term “analphabetic” is often associated with poverty, lack of education, and underdevelopment. In many parts of the world, illiteracy is a major problem, particularly among women and children. Being analphabetic can limit one’s access to information, job opportunities, and social mobility.


There are several synonyms for “analphabetic,” including illiterate, unlettered, uneducated, uninstructed, and unschooled. These words all describe someone who lacks the ability to read and write.


The antonyms of “analphabetic” are words that describe someone who is literate and educated. These include educated, literate, lettered, instructed, and schooled.

The same root words

The root word of “analphabetic” is “alphabet,” which comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and beta. Other words that share this root include alphabetical, alphabetize, and alphabetically.

Example Sentences

Here are a few example sentences that use the word “analphabetic”:

  • The government is working to reduce the number of analphabetic children in rural areas.
  • The ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphs, a form of writing that was analphabetic.
  • Despite being analphabetic, the woman had a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.
  • The literacy rate in the country has improved, but there are still many analphabetic adults.
  • The teacher was patient and kind, helping the analphabetic student learn to read and write.
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