Ignoramus
Ignoramus Ig`no*ra"mus, n. [L., we are ignorant. See {Ignore}.] 1. (Law) We are ignorant; we ignore; -- being the word formerly written on a bill of indictment by a grand jury when there was not sufficient evidence to warrant them in finding it a true bill. The phrase now used is, ``No bill,'' ``No true bill,'' or ``Not found,'' though in some jurisdictions ``Ignored'' is still used. --Wharton (Law Dict. ). Burn. [1913 Webster]

2. (pl. {Ignoramuses}.) A stupid, ignorant person; a vain pretender to knowledge; a dunce. [1913 Webster]

An ignoramus in place and power. --South. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • ignoramus — (n.) 1570s, from an Anglo French legal term (early 15c.), from L. ignoramus we do not know, first person present indicative of ignorare not to know (see IGNORANT (Cf. ignorant)). The legal term was one a grand jury could write on a bill when it… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ignoramus — [ig΄nə rā′məs, ig΄nəram′əs] n. pl. ignoramuses [< the name of a lawyer in Geo. Ruggle s play Ignoramus (1615); L, lit., we take no notice (a legal term formerly written on a bill of indictment by a grand jury that finds it to be not a true… …   English World dictionary

  • ignoramus — ig·no·ra·mus /ˌig nə rā məs/ n: no bill at bill 3b Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • ignoramus — meaning ‘an ignorant person’, has the plural form ignoramuses. It was originally a law term from the Latin word meaning ‘we do not know’, and the ending has nothing to do with Latin nouns in us …   Modern English usage

  • ignoramus — ► NOUN (pl. ignoramuses) ▪ an ignorant or stupid person. ORIGIN originally a formula uttered by a grand jury about an indictment considered to be backed by insufficient evidence to bring before a petty jury: from Latin, we do not know (in legal… …   English terms dictionary

  • Ignoramus — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Ignoramus >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 ignoramus ignoramus dunce Sgm: N 1 wooden spoon wooden spoon Sgm: N 1 no scholar no scholar GRP: N 2 Sgm: N 2 sciolist sciolist smatterer dabbler …   English dictionary for students

  • ignoramus —    This has had the meaning of an ignorant person since the early seventeenth century, when a play by Ruggles, written to expose the ignorance and arrogance of lawyers, was first performed. Ignoramus, the title of the play, was also the name of… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • ignoramus — noun (plural muses; also ignorami) Etymology: Ignoramus, ignorant lawyer in Ignoramus (1615), play by George Ruggle, from Latin, literally, we are ignorant of Date: circa 1616 an utterly ignorant person ; dunce …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ignoramus — /ig neuh ray meuhs, ram euhs/, n., pl. ignoramuses. an extremely ignorant person. [1570 80; < L ignoramus we ignore (1st pers. pl. pres. indic. of ignorare to be ignorant of, IGNORE); hence name of an ignorant lawyer in the play Ignoramus (1615)… …   Universalium

  • ignoramus — UK [ˌɪɡnəˈreɪməs] / US noun [countable] Word forms ignoramus : singular ignoramus plural ignoramuses old fashioned someone who does not know very much …   English dictionary

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