AskDefine | Define literati

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literati n : the literary intelligentsia

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from Latin literatus 'lettered, literate'


(US) IPA: /ˌlɪtəˈrɑti/


  1. (plural) well-educated, literary people; intellectuals who are interested in literature
    • 1748, Tobias George Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random
      First, to Counsellor Fitzclabber, who, he told me, was then employed in compiling a history of the kings of Minster, from Irish manuscripts; and then to his friend Mr. Gahagan, who was a profound philosopher and politician, and had projected many excellent schemes for the good of his country. But it seems these literati had been very ill rewarded for their ingenious labours; for, between them both, there was but one shirt, and half a pair of breeches.
    • 1883, Isabella L. Bird, The Golden Chersonese and The Way Thither
      He is not of the people, this lordly magistrate. He is one of the privileged literati. His literary degrees are high and numerous.


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