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Webster 1913 Edition


Literal

Lit′er-al

(lĭt′ẽr-al)
,
Adj.
[F.
litéral
,
littéral
, L.
litteralis
,
literalis
, fr.
littera
,
litera
, a letter. See
Letter
.]
1.
According to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical;
as, the
literal
meaning of a phrase
.
It hath but one simple
literal
sense whose light the owls can not abide.
Tyndale.
2.
Following the letter or exact words; not free.
A middle course between the rigor of
literal
translations and the liberty of paraphrasts.
Hooker.
3.
Consisting of, or expressed by, letters.
The
literal
notation of numbers was known to Europeans before the ciphers.
Johnson.
4.
Giving a strict or literal construction; unimaginative; matter-of-fact; – applied to persons.
Literal contract
(Law)
,
a contract of which the whole evidence is given in writing.
Bouvier.
Literal equation
(Math.)
,
an equation in which known quantities are expressed either wholly or in part by means of letters; – distinguished from a
numerical equation
.

Lit′er-al

,
Noun.
Literal meaning.
[Obs.]
Sir T. Browne.

Webster 1828 Edition


Literal

LIT'ERAL

,
Adj.
[L. litera, a letter.]
1.
According to the letter; primitive; real; not figurative or metaphorical; as the literal meaning of a phrase.
2.
Following the letter or exact words; not free; as a literal translation.
3.
Consisting of letters.
The literal notation of numbers was known to Europeans before the ciphers.

LIT'ERAL

,
Noun.
Literal meaning. [Not used.]

Definition 2022


literal

literal

English

Alternative forms

  • litteral (obsolete)

Adjective

literal (comparative more literal, superlative most literal)

  1. Exactly as stated; read or understood without additional interpretation; according to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical.
    The literal translation is “hands full of bananas” but it means empty-handed.
    • Hooker
      a middle course between the rigour of literal translation and the liberty of paraphrasts
  2. Following the letter or exact words; not free; not taking liberties.
    A literal reading of the law would prohibit it, but that is clearly not the intent.
  3. (uncommon) Consisting of, or expressed by, letters.
    a literal equation
    • Johnson
      The literal notation of numbers was known to Europeans before the ciphers.
  4. (of a person) Giving a strict or literal construction; unimaginative; matter-of-fact.

Antonyms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

literal (plural literals)

  1. (programming) A value, as opposed to an identifier, written into the source code of a computer program.
  2. (logic) A propositional variable or the negation of a propositional variable.

Translations

See also

External links

  • literal in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • literal in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Anagrams


Catalan

Etymology

Borrowing from Late Latin litterālis.

Adjective

literal m, f (masculine and feminine plural literals)

  1. literal

Derived terms

Related terms

External links


Galician

Etymology

Borrowing from Late Latin litterālis.

Adjective

literal m, f (plural literais)

  1. literal

Derived terms

Related terms

External links


German

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˌlɪtəˈʀaːl/
  • Rhymes: -aːl

Adjective

literal (not comparable)

  1. literate

Declension


Old French

Etymology

Borrowing from Late Latin litterālis.

Adjective

literal m (oblique and nominative feminine singular literale)

  1. literal (exactly as stated)
  2. literal (relating to or composed of letters)

Descendants


Portuguese

Etymology

Borrowing from Late Latin litterālis.

Adjective

literal m, f (plural literais, comparable)

  1. literal (understood exactly as written, without additional interpretation)

Derived terms

Noun

literal m (plural literais)

  1. (programming) literal (value written in the source code)

Related terms

External links

  • literal in Dicionário Aberto based on Novo Diccionário da Língua Portuguesa de Cândido de Figueiredo, 1913

Spanish

Etymology

Borrowing from Late Latin litterālis.

Adjective

literal m, f (plural literales)

  1. literal

Derived terms

Related terms

External links

  1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/literal