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Related to ignorance: Ignorance is bliss


The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈɪɡnərəns) or


lack of knowledge, information, or education; the state of being ignorant
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɪg nər əns)

the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge or learning.
[1175–1225; Middle English < Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • agnosy, agnoiology - Agnosy is another word for ignorance and agnoiology is the study of human ignorance.
  • ignotism - A mistake due to ignorance.
  • nescience, inscience - Nescience and inscience both mean "ignorance."
  • sophomoric - Includes the roots soph-, "wise," and moros, "fool"—so the contrast between wisdom and ignorance is built right into the word.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. The fault unknown is as a thought unacted —William Shakespeare
  2. Ignorance is a form of incompetence —Natsume Söseki
  3. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone —Oscar Wilde
  4. Ignorance like a fire does burn —Bayard Taylor

    Modernized from “Like a fire doth burn.”

  5. Ignorant as dirt —Karl Shapiro
  6. A man’s ignorance is as much his private property, and as precious in his own eyes, as his family Bible —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  7. A man with little learning is like the frog who thinks its puddle a great sea —Burmese proverb
  8. There are a great multitude of individuals who are like blind mules, anxious enough to kick, but can’t tell where —Josh Billings

    Here are the words as they appear in Billing’s phonetic dialect: “a grate multitude … but kant tell whare.”

Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




blockhead A dimwit, a numskull. The term comes from the dummy head used by wigmakers and hatters.

cork-brained Light-headed; giddy. This phrase plays with the analogy between cork cells which are dead, air-filled cells and one’s brain. Cork-brained appeared in print as early as 1630.

dunce A dull-witted, stupid person; a dolt, blockhead, or ignoramus. This term makes use of the name of a scholastic theologian of the late 13th century, John Duns Scotus. Originally the term referred to a caviling sophist, derived from the fact that Scotus’ doctrines were criticized as a conglomeration of hairsplitting distinctions. Such a person would be full of useless information and perhaps even opposed to progress and learning, as Scotus was regarded.

A dunce, void of learning but full of books. (Thomas Fuller, The Holy and Profane State, 1642)

Dunce also referred to one who is uneducated or incapable of learning.

But now in our age it is grown to be a common proverb in derision, to call such a person as is senseless or without learning a Duns, which is as much as a fool. (Raphael Holinshed, The First Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland:, 1577-87)

Today dunce has lost its connotations of overrefinement and pedantry; it means simply ‘stupid, doltish, ignorant’

dunderhead A thickheaded, stupid person; a numskull, blockhead, or dullard. The origin of this term is obscure, but it has been speculated that dunder is a corruption of the Spanish redundar ‘to overflow’ and is the name given to the lees or dregs of cane juice used in the fermentation of rum. Thus, a “dunderhead” is a head full of dregs, overflowing with this worthless substance. This term has been in use since the early 17th century.

not know A from a windmill To be extremely ignorant or stupid. This expression is said to have been originally suggested by the similarity between the shape of a capital A and that of a windmill. This theory is further reinforced by the now rare or obsolete definition of windmill found in the OED: “a figure of a windmill; a sign or character resembling this, as a cross or asterisk.” In popular usage until the late 19th century, the phrase appeared as early as 1402 in the Rolls of Parliament.

not know B from a battledore To be illiterate, ignorant, or obtuse. Battledore is an obsolete word for a hornbook used as a child’s primer. Not to know the letter from the book signified utter ignorance.

He knew not a B from a battledore nor ever a letter of the book. (John Foxe, Acts and Monuments of These Latter and Perilous Days, 1553-87)

Many alliterative variations of the phrase exist, substituting broomstick, bull’s foot, or buffalo’s foot for battledore.

not know if one is coming or going See CONFUSION.

not know one’s ass [or Brit arse] from one’s elbow Not know the first thing about something, not know what’s what, completely ignorant or naïve.

I wish I’d had a crowd like that for my first crew. We none of us knew arse from elbow when they pushed me off. (N. Shute, Pastoral, 1944)

not know shit from shinola To be totally stupid or ignorant. Shinola is the brand name of a formerly popular shoe polish little used today. Because of its vulgar origin and implications, the phrase is somewhat limited in written usage.

not know which end is up Not know what’s going on; ignorant, stupid; totally confused or mixed up.

out to lunch Stupid, daft, or flaky; socially incompetent. This expression relates physical absence to mental vacuity. The common phrase often describes a person whose social ineptness or exceedingly poor judgment is due to a severe lack of common sense.

A girl who would be attracted to Bud’s mean streak and bad temper must be a little out to lunch. (Toronto Daily Star, June, 1966)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ignorance - the lack of knowledge or education
cognitive content, mental object, content - the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
ignorantness, nescience, unknowing, unknowingness - ignorance (especially of orthodox beliefs)
inexperience, rawness - lack of experience and the knowledge and understanding derived from experience; "procedural inexperience created difficulties"; "their poor behavior was due to the rawness of the troops"
unenlightenment - a lack of understanding
illiteracy - ignorance resulting from not reading
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. lack of education, stupidity, foolishness, blindness, illiteracy, benightedness, unenlightenment, unintelligence, mental darkness In my ignorance, I had never heard of R and B music.
lack of education understanding, knowledge, intelligence, wisdom, insight, enlightenment, comprehension
2. (with of) unawareness of, inexperience of, unfamiliarity with, innocence of, unconsciousness of, greenness about, oblivion about, nescience of (literary) a complete ignorance of non-European history
"No more; where ignorance is bliss,"
"'Tis folly to be wise" [Thomas Gray Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College]
"If ignorance is indeed bliss, it is a very low grade of the article" [Tehyi Hsieh Chinese Epigrams Inside Out and Proverbs]
"Ignorance is not bliss - it is oblivion" [Philip Wylie Generation of Vipers]
"Ignorance, the stem and root of all evil" [Plato]
"What we call evil is simply ignorance bumping its head in the dark" [Henry Ford]
"Ignorance is not innocence but sin" [Robert Browning The Inn Album]
"Ignorance itself is without a doubt a sin for those who do not wish to understand; for those who, however, cannot understand, it is the punishment of sin" [St Augustine]
"Ignorance is the curse of God,"
"Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven" [William Shakespeare Henry VI]
"I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance" [Socrates]
"If you think education is expensive - try ignorance" [Derek Bok]
"One half of the world does not know how the other half lives"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. The condition of being ignorant; lack of knowledge or learning:
2. The condition of being uninformed or unaware:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
sự thiếu hiểu biết


[ˈɪgnərəns] Nignorancia f (of de) to be in ignorance ofignorar, desconocer
to keep sb in ignorance of sthocultar algo a algn
to show one's ignorancedemostrar su ignorancia
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈɪgnərəns] n (= lack of knowledge) → ignorance f
ignorance about sth → ignorance en matière de qch
Her ignorance of foreign policy was alarming → Son ignorance en matière de politique étrangère était alarmante.
to keep sb in ignorance of sth → tenir qn dans l'ignorance de qch
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (= general lack of knowledge, education)Unwissenheit f, → Mangel man Bildung, Ignoranz f; (of particular subject, language, plan etc)Unkenntnis f; to keep somebody in ignorance of somethingjdn in Unkenntnis über etw (acc)lassen, jdn etw nicht wissen lassen; to be in ignorance of somethingetw nicht wissen; ignorance (of the law) is no excuseUnkenntnis schützt vor Strafe nicht
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈɪgnrns] n ignorance (of)ignoranza (di)
to keep sb in ignorance of sth → tenere qn all'oscuro di qc
to show one's ignorance → dimostrare la propria ignoranza
it's no use pleading ignorance of the law → la legge non ammette ignoranza
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈignərənt) adjective
1. knowing very little. He's really very ignorant – he ought to read more; I'm ignorant about money matters.
2. (with of) unaware. He continued on his way, ignorant of the dangers which lay ahead.
ˈignorantly adverb
ˈignorance noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


جَهْلٌ nevzdělanost uvidenhed Unkenntnis άγνοια ignorancia tietämättömyys ignorance neznanje ignoranza 無知 무식 onwetendheid uvitenhet ignorancja ignorância невежество okunnighet ความโง่เขลา cehalet sự thiếu hiểu biết 无知
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. ignorancia.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
I knew you did not wish to be too hard, and I am glad you see it was only ignorance."
And, as knowledge corresponded to being and ignorance of necessity to not-being, for that intermediate between being and not-being there has to be discovered a corresponding intermediate between ignorance and knowledge, if there be such?
The papers revived all the old anecdotes in which the "sun of the wolves" played a part; they recalled the influences which the ignorance of past ages ascribed to her; in short, all America was seized with selenomania, or had become moon-mad.
"You have been a good client to me," the Attorney replied, gathering up his books and papers, "but I must say you betray a surprising ignorance of the purpose of litigation."
And the ignorance of people about here is stupendous.
I found it simple, in my ignorance, my confusion, and perhaps my conceit, to assume that I could deal with a boy whose education for the world was all on the point of beginning.
Then the priest anoints himself with the grease and tallow of the cows, and sits down on a heap of straw, on the top and in the middle of a pile which is prepared; they set fire to it, and the whole heap is consumed without any injury to the priest, who while the fire continues harangues the standers by, and confirms them in their present ignorance and superstition.
Three days ago I received a letter from him, which stated his intention of changing his place of residence on the next day then ensuing, but which left me entirely in ignorance on the subject of the locality to which it was his intention to remove.
But to me the future is still black and blank--is a vast ignorance, lit at a few casual places by the memory of his story.
Recognition, as the name indicates, is a change from ignorance to knowledge, producing love or hate between the persons destined by the poet for good or bad fortune.
Some, whatsoever is beyond their reach, will seem to despise, or make light of it, as impertinent or curious; and so would have their ignorance seem judgment.
Let those of high life, therefore, no longer despise the ignorance of their inferiors; nor the vulgar any longer rail at the vices of their betters.