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Having no written language; preliterate.

non·lit′er·ate n.


not able to read and write


(nɒnˈlɪt ər ɪt)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.nonliterate - used of a society that has not developed writing
noncivilised, noncivilized - not having a high state of culture and social development
References in periodicals archive ?
As such, this fourth stage of cognitive development is either entirely absent or only discernible in limited form in nonliterate societies or those that are defined by a slowly developing, traditional culture.
The authors also seem to assume that the guilds wrote their own plays and that the manuscripts represent 'some of the earliest works of literature by a largely nonliterate class' (24).
From Percy to Child, ballad editors sought to recover traces of this presumptively pre- or nonliterate national verse from what were viewed as its ruins in archives or the memories of rural singers.
Despite obvious inequalities (with an estimated one billion nonliterate adults worldwide), it seems safe to state that in most cities around the world today there are more people spending more time using more text to do more things in more places.
This belief is grounded in the fact that Western society has come to establish the written word as the dominant form by which historical records are kept, thus classifying American Indian cultures as nonliterate societies.
For nonliterate Internet users, fewer than 1% performed any of the activities studied (Table 9).
Trained interviewers also administered the questionnaires for nonliterate respondents and those that preferred interviewer administration of the tool.
Literate respondents indicated acceptance by signing the consent form, while nonliterate participants affixed their thumbprint.
Ancient tombs are imperfect mirrors of their occupants; they also reflect funerary traditions that can remain elusive, especially for nonliterate cultures.
His works, composed in a colloquial style and dialect, appealed to rural, nonliterate villagers of the time.
Selected social and demographic characteristics of married women aged 15-34 residing in PRACHAR study intervention and comparison districts, Bihar, District Level Household Survey Round 2, 2002-2004 Indicator Intervention Comparison areas areas (N=2,472) (N=484) Educational attainment (%) Nonliterate 64.