Checking Oxford and MacMillan dictionaries, "ignorance" is listed as a mass noun. The same in the Cambridge dictionary. However, there is a sentence from the Cambridge English Corpus:

Is this merely anodyne or does it reflect an ignorance of the medieval equity jurisdictions ?

Also, when I google "an ignorance", I get quite a lot of hits in various documents etc. Is that a mistake? As no dictionary I consulted allow this to be used in singular.


If you have an uncountable noun like sugar, you can refer to a particular type of sugar using the indefinite article:

fructose is a sugar

In your sentence, an ignorance refers to a particular type of ignorance- that of "the medieval equity jurisdictions".

This is different to ignorance in general which, as an uncountable noun, does not require an article, as in the proverb

ignorance is bliss

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