Ignoramus is a noun that refers to a person who is ignorant, uninformed, or lacks knowledge about a specific subject or in general. It can also be used to describe someone who is foolish or unintelligent.


US English

UK English

Part of speech



fool, idiot, imbecile, dunce, simpleton, ignoramuses, know-nothing, moron, dummy, blockhead.


sage, scholar, intellectual, genius, prodigy, mastermind, expert, pundit, savant, learned person.

Example sentences

  • The new hire was a complete ignoramus when it came to working with computer software.
  • The politician made a fool of himself during the debate, proving himself an undeniable ignoramus.
  • Despite his lack of knowledge about the subject, the ignoramus felt confident enough to speak condescendingly to the experts in the field.
  • I am constantly learning new things, so I refuse to remain an ignoramus about any topic.


The word ignoramus can be used in a variety of contexts, whether it be to describe a person’s lack of knowledge or to denote a person’s foolish behavior. It is often used as an insult or to express frustration towards someone who is not making an effort to learn or understand something. The word is fairly informal and has a negative connotation, so it is not commonly used in polite conversation.

The word ignoramus is derived from the Latin phrase “Ignoramus et ignorabimus,” which means “we do not know and will not know.” The word is composed of the Latin words “ignorare” which means “not to know” and “amus” which is a suffix that changes the verb into a noun. It was originally used in legal language, where the term “ignoramus jury” referred to a grand jury that was unable to reach a verdict due to a lack of evidence.

There are a few variations and idiomatic expressions of the word ignoramus that can be used in different contexts. For example, one may say “the blind leading the blind” to describe a situation where an unknowledgeable person is attempting to guide another. Another variation is “ignorantia juris non excusat,” which means “ignorance of the law excuses no one.” In this sense, the word is used to describe someone who is unaware of the laws or rules that they are expected to follow.

There are a few words that have a similar meaning to ignoramus, including imbecile, dunce, or fool. Each of these words denotes a person’s lack of intelligence or understanding. However, ignoramus is unique in that it carries the sense that the person is choosing to be ignorant or actively avoiding knowledge in favor of their own opinions. Overall, the usage of the word ignoramus should be approached with caution to ensure that it is not used to discriminate or harm others