What does Literally mean?

Definitions for Literally
ˈlɪt ər ə lilit·er·al·ly

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Literally.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. literallyadverb

    in a literal sense

    "literally translated"; "he said so literally"

  2. literallyadverb

    (intensifier before a figurative expression) without exaggeration

    "our eyes were literally pinned to TV during the Gulf War"


  1. literallyadverb

    word for word; not figuratively; not as an idiom or metaphor

    When I saw on the news that there would be no school tomorrow because of the snowstorm, I literally jumped for joy, and hit my head on the ceiling fan.

  2. literallyadverb

    used non-literally as an intensifier for figurative statements: virtually (often considered incorrect; see usage notes)

  3. literallyadverb

    Used as a generic downtoner: just, merely.

    You literally put it in the microwave for five minutes and it's done.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Literallyadverb

    Etymology: from literal.

    That a man and his wife are one flesh, I can comprehend the meaning of; yet literally taken, it is a thing impossible. Jonathan Swift.

    Endeavouring to turn his Nisus and Euryalus as close as I was able, I have performed that episode too literally; that giving more scope to Mezentius and Lausus, that version, which has more of the majesty of Virgil , has less of his conciseness. Dryden.

    So wild and ungovernable a poet cannot be translated literally; his genius is too strong to bear a chain. Dryden.


  1. Literally

    Literally is an English adverb. It has been controversially used as an intensifier for figurative statements.


  1. literally

    Literally is an adverb which means in a literal manner or sense; exactly. It is used to emphasize the truth and accuracy of a statement or description, often to express surprise or to emphasize something that is really true and not metaphorical or hyperbolic.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Literallyadverb

    according to the primary and natural import of words; not figuratively; as, a man and his wife can not be literally one flesh

  2. Literallyadverb

    with close adherence to words; word by word

Suggested Resources

  1. Literally

    Literally vs. Figuratively -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Literally and Figuratively.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Literally' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2440

  2. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Literally' in Adverbs Frequency: #291

How to pronounce Literally?

How to say Literally in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Literally in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Literally in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of Literally in a Sentence

  1. Amanda Devecka-Rinear:

    It's literally one step forward and five steps back, the one step forward is the slightly more accurate mapping and letting more people know they're in a flood zone.

  2. Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement:

    The reality is we have to wait for Mother Nature to produce those bodies, and it may and it may not. And the reality is, we'll be here if it does, we are literally in the hands of the sea.

  3. Michael Rubin:

    Whenever theres a discrepancy between official rates and black market rates, corruption thrives. By manipulating foreign exchange, the Iranian central bank can divert the difference in rates to fund other projects, put another way, if foreign companies and correspondent banks pay the official exchange rate in their business with Iran, they will be paying six times as much in dollars. Literally, that means more than 83 percent could go to the Revolutionary Guards, while only 17 percent goes to legitimate purposes.

  4. Democratic Socialist:

    In both Norway and Sweden, whose economies are literally dwarfed by the size of our affluence and the extent of our technology, they have no unemployment and no slums, there, men, women and children have long enjoyed free medical care and quality education. This contrast to the limited, halting steps taken by our rich nation deeply troubled me.

  5. Ali Fehmi:

    People around the world are just desperate to get a vaccine and it is literally available on a platter for us.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Literally

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"Literally." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Literally>.

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    actively or fully engaged or occupied
    A opaque
    B busy
    C dependable
    D aligned

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