Learned vs Preliterate - What's the difference?

learned | preliterate |

As adjectives the difference between learned and preliterate

is that learned is having much learning, knowledgeable, erudite; highly educated or learned can be derived from experience; acquired by learning while preliterate is (of a culture) that has not yet developed a written language.

As a verb learned

is (us) (learn): taught or learned can be (learn).

As a noun preliterate is

a member of such a culture.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) lerned, from (etyl)


  • (US) (learn): taught
  • Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • Having much learning, knowledgeable, erudite; highly educated.
  • * 1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , III.iii:
  • the learned Merlin, well could tell, / Vnder what coast of heauen the man did dwell [...].
  • * 1854 , Charles Edward Pollock, Lake v. Plaxton , 156 Eng. Rep. 412 (Exch.) 414; 10 Ex. 199, 200 (Eng.)
  • My learned Brother Cresswell directed the jury to make the calculation [...].
  • * {{quote-magazine
  • , year=2011 , month=Feb , author=Jess Lourey , coauthors= , title=A Pyramid Approach to Novel Writing , volume=124 , issue=2 , page=30-32 , magazine=Writer , passage=The book opens with the Time Traveler dining with learned peers in late 1800s England, where he is trying to convince them that he has invented a time machine. }}
  • * {{quote-magazine
  • , year=2011 , month=Spring , author=Jill Lepore , coauthors= , title=How Longfellow Woke the Dead , volume=80 , issue=2 , page=33-46 , magazine=American Scholar , passage=HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW used to be both the best-known poet in the English-speaking world and the most beloved, adored by the learned and the lowly ... }}
    My learned friend (a formal, courteous description of a lawyer)
    Alternative forms
    Usage notes
    * This adjectival sense of this word is sometimes spelled with a grave accent. This is meant to indicate that the second ‘e’ is pronounced as , rather than being silent, as in the verb form. This usage is largely restricted to poetry and other works in which it is important that the adjective’s disyllabicity be made explicit.
    * (having much knowledge) brainy, erudite, knowledgeable, scholarly, educated * See also
    * (having little knowledge) ignorant, stupid, thick, uneducated
    Derived terms
    * learnedly * learnedness

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl)

    Alternative forms

    * learnt


  • (learn)
  • Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • Derived from experience; acquired by learning.
  • Everyday behavior is an overlay of learned behavior over instinct.




    * * English heteronyms




  • (of a culture) that has not yet developed a written language
  • (of a person) who has not yet learned to read and write
  • Noun

    (en noun)
  • a member of such a culture