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 (sĕm′ē-lĭt′ər-ĭt, sĕm′ī-)
1. Having achieved an elementary level of ability in reading and writing.
2. Having limited knowledge or understanding, especially of a technical subject.

sem′i·lit′er·a·cy (-ər-ə-sē) n.
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.


1. (Education) hardly able to read or write
2. (Education) able to read but not to write
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌsɛm iˈlɪt ər ɪt, ˌsɛm aɪ-)

1. barely able to read and write.
2. capable of reading but not writing.
3. a person who is semiliterate.
sem`i•lit′er•a•cy (-ə si) n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.semiliterate - literate but poorly informed
educated - possessing an education (especially having more than average knowledge)
2.semiliterate - barely able to read and write; "an semiliterate scrawl"
illiterate - not able to read or write
3.semiliterate - able to read but not to write
illiterate - not able to read or write
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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Melehy establishes his study as a corrective to misleading characterizations of Kerouac as a literary savant led by guileless enthusiasm alone: "A man who out of semiliteracy wrote ineptly though sometimes sweetly" (4).
By the end of the Peloponnesian War, Athens had passed through its stage of semiliteracy, and entered a period of visual thinking and learning on which all of its education became based and on which all Western education remained based for over two thousand years.
One chapter mentions the role of fetes in the making of political statements, and one chapter addresses the issue of how peasants might have been part of the political discourse despite their illiteracy or semiliteracy and geographical isolation.
The documents, characterized by a combination of Bolshevik rhetoric together with the semiliteracy of accusers and accused, reflect the adaptation of communism's daily norms and cultural codes by various categories of settlers.