Definitions for literalˈlɪt ər əl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word literal

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

lit•er•alˈlɪt ər əl(adj.)

  1. in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of a word or words; not figurative or metaphorical.

  2. following the words of the original very closely and exactly:

    a literal translation.

  3. true to fact; unembellished; actual or factual:

    a literal description of conditions.

  4. being actually such, without exaggeration or inaccuracy:

    the literal extermination of a city.

  5. tending to construe words in the strict sense or in an unimaginative way.

  6. of, pertaining to, or expressed by the letters of the alphabet.

  7. affecting a letter or letters:

    a literal error.

  8. (n.)a typographical error, esp. involving a single letter.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

Origin of literal:

1350–1400; < LL litterālis of letters. See letter , -al1


Princeton's WordNet

  1. misprint, erratum, typographical error, typo, literal error, literal(adj)

    a mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical failures of some kind

  2. actual, genuine, literal, real(adj)

    being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something

    "her actual motive"; "a literal solitude like a desert"- G.K.Chesterton; "a genuine dilemma"

  3. literal(adj)

    without interpretation or embellishment

    "a literal depiction of the scene before him"

  4. literal(adj)

    limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text

    "a literal translation"

  5. literal(adj)

    avoiding embellishment or exaggeration (used for emphasis)

    "it's the literal truth"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. literal(adjective)ˈlɪt ər əl

    (of a word or phrase) having the original or a factual meaning

    I didn't mean he was boiling in the literal sense!


  1. literal(Noun)

    A value, as opposed to an identifier, written into the source code of a computer program.

  2. literal(Noun)

    A propositional variable or the negation of a propositional variable.

  3. literal(Adjective)

    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 u201Chands full of bananasu201D but it means empty-handed.

  4. literal(Adjective)

    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.

  5. literal(Adjective)

    Consisting of, or expressed by, letters.

  6. Origin: From literal, from litteralis, also literalis, from littera, litera; see letter.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Literal(adj)

    according to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical; as, the literal meaning of a phrase

  2. Literal(adj)

    following the letter or exact words; not free

  3. Literal(adj)

    consisting of, or expressed by, letters

  4. Literal(adj)

    giving a strict or literal construction; unimaginative; matter-of fast; -- applied to persons

  5. Literal(noun)

    literal meaning


  1. Literal

    In mathematical logic, a literal is an atomic formula or its negation. The definition mostly appears in proof theory, e.g. in conjunctive normal form and the method of resolution. Literals can be divided into two types: ⁕A positive literal is just an atom. ⁕A negative literal is the negation of an atom. For a literal, the complementary literal is a literal corresponding to the negation of, we can write to denote the complementary literal of . More precisely, if then is and if then is . In the context of a formula in the conjunctive normal form, a literal is pure if the literal's complement does not appear in the formula.

Anagrams of literal

  1. tallier

Translations for literal

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


following the exact meaning with no exaggeration

the literal truth.

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