Definition of ignorance noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈɪɡnərəns//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪɡnərəns//
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  • [uncountable] ignorance (of/about something) a lack of knowledge or information about something widespread ignorance of/about the disease They fought a long battle against prejudice and ignorance. She was kept in ignorance of her husband's activities. Children often behave badly out of/through ignorance. I hate to admit my ignorance, but how does it work? Express YourselfSaying that you don’t know something or giving yourself time to thinkThere are various ways of telling people that you haven’t got the information they are asking for: I really don't know. I’m afraid I don't have the faintest idea. Sorry, I have absolutely no idea. Has anyone left a message? No, not to my knowledge/​not as far as I know. Well, that’s a good question. Yes, that’s an interesting point/​idea. Well, let me see… Let me think about that for a moment.
  • Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin ignorantia, from ignorant- ‘not knowing’, from the verb ignorare ‘not know, ignore’, from in- ‘not’ + gno-, a base meaning ‘know’.Extra examples He pleaded ignorance of any wrongdoing. He showed a remarkable ignorance of the facts. He was kept in ignorance of his true identity. I had to confess my ignorance. I tried not to betray my ignorance. Many lives are lost through ignorance. Outsiders, in their ignorance, fail to understand this. She remained in blissful ignorance of these events. The sisters lived in total ignorance of each other. There is still widespread ignorance about this disease. These attitudes are based on ignorance and fear. This showed a profound ignorance of local customs. a policy based on wilful ignorance of history mistakes due to ignorance our appalling ignorance of international events widespread ignorance of the causes of the Civil War Children often behave badly out of ignorance. I hate to confess my ignorance, but can you explain what ‘space-time’actually is? I remained in blissful ignorance of what was going on. Many of the comments betray an appalling ignorance of the reality of these children’s lives. She was kept in ignorance of her husband’s activities. Some doctors believe that ignorance is bliss and do not tell their patients all the facts. The more he talks, the more he shows his ignorance.Idioms (saying) if you do not know about something, you cannot worry about it Some doctors believe ignorance is bliss and don't give their patients all the facts.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ignorance

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