\ \ [15] To be erudite is literally to be the opposite of ‘rude’. Latin rudis (source of English rude) meant ‘rough, unpolished’, and so ērudīre, a compound verb formed with the prefix ex- ‘out of, from’, signified ‘take the roughness out of’, hence ‘polish, teach’. Its past participle formed the basis of an adjective, ērudītus(well) taught’, which as borrowed into English has acquired the greater gravitas of ‘learned’.
\ \ Cf.RUDE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • erudite — er u*dite ([e^]r [ u]*d[imac]t; 135), a. [L. eruditus, p. p. of erudire to free from rudeness, to polish, instruct; e out + rudis rude: cf. F. [ e]rudit. See {Rude}.] Characterized by extensive reading or knowledge; well instructed; learned. A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • erudite — index cognizant, didactic, familiar (informed), informed (educated), learned, literate, profound …   Law dictionary

  • erudite — early 15c., from L. eruditus, pp. of erudire to educate, teach, instruct, polish, lit. to bring out of the rough, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + rudis unskilled, rough, unlearned (see RUDE (Cf. rude)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • erudite — iearned, scholarly …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • erudite — [adj] well educated, cultured brainy, cultivated, educated, highbrow, in the know, into*, knowledgeable, learned, lettered, literate, savvy, scholarly, scholastic, studious, wellread, wise up*; concept 402 Ant. common, ignorant, uncultured,… …   New thesaurus

  • erudite — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having or showing knowledge or learning. DERIVATIVES eruditely adverb erudition noun. ORIGIN Latin eruditus, from erudire instruct, train …   English terms dictionary

  • erudite — [er′yo͞o dīt΄, er′o͞odīt; er′yədīt΄, er′ədīt΄] adj. [ME erudit < L eruditus, pp. of erudire, to instruct, lit., free from roughness < e , out + rudis, RUDE] having or showing a wide knowledge gained from reading; learned; scholarly… …   English World dictionary

  • érudite — ● érudit, érudite adjectif et nom (latin eruditus, de erudire, instruire) Qui a des connaissances approfondies dans une matière, en particulier des connaissances historiques. ● érudit, érudite (citations) adjectif et nom (latin eruditus, de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • erudite — [[t]e̱rʊdaɪt, AM e̱rjə [/t]] ADJ GRADED If you describe someone as erudite, you mean that they have or show great academic knowledge. You can also use erudite to describe something such as a book or a style of writing. [FORMAL] He was never dull …   English dictionary

  • erudite — eruditely, adv. eruditeness, n. /er yoo duyt , er oo /, adj. characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly: an erudite professor; an erudite commentary. [1375 1425; late ME < L eruditus, equiv. to erud (e E + rud unformed, rough, RUDE) + …   Universalium

  • erudite — /ˈɛrədaɪt / (say eruhduyt) adjective characterised by erudition; learned or scholarly: an erudite professor; an erudite commentary. {Latin ērudītus, past participle, instructed} –eruditely, adverb –eruditeness, noun …   Australian English dictionary

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