Meaning of LITERAL in English


adj. & n.


1. taking words in their usual or primary sense without metaphor or allegory (literal interpretation).

2 following the letter, text, or exact or original words (literal translation; a literal transcript).

3 (in full literal-minded) (of a person) prosaic; matter of fact.

4 a not exaggerated (the literal truth). b so called without exaggeration (a literal extermination).

5 colloq. disp. so called with some exaggeration or using metaphor (a literal avalanche of mail).

6 of, in, or expressed by a letter or the letters of the alphabet.

7 Algebra not numerical.

--n. Printing a misprint of a letter.


literality n. literalize (also -ise). literally adv. literalness n.

Etymology: ME f. OF literal or LL litteralis f. L littera (as LETTER)

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.