Definitions for Literature
ˈlɪt ər ə tʃər, -ˌtʃʊər, ˈlɪ trə-lit·er·a·ture
This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Literature.
creative writing of recognized artistic value
the humanistic study of a body of literature
"he took a course in Russian lit"
published writings in a particular style on a particular subject
"the technical literature"; "one aspect of Waterloo has not yet been treated in the literature"
the profession or art of a writer
"her place in literature is secure"
The body of all written works.
The collected creative writing of a nation, people, group or culture.
All the papers, treatises etc. published in academic journals on a particular subject.
Written fiction of a high standard.
SF is rarely literature because the characters are so poorly realised. - Adam Cadre
Etymology: From literatura or litteratura.
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
Learning; skill in letters.
Etymology: literatura, Latin.
This kingdom hath been famous for good literature; and if preferment attend deservers, there will not want supplies. Francis Bacon, Advice to Villiers.
When men of learning are acted by a knowledge of the world, they give a reputation to literature, and convince the world of its usefulness. Joseph Addison, Freeholder, №. 377.
Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to include oral literature, much of which has been transcribed. Literature is a method of recording, preserving, and transmitting knowledge and entertainment, and can also have a social, psychological, spiritual, or political role. Literature, as an art form, can also include works in various non-fiction genres, such as biography, diaries, memoir, letters, and the essay. Within its broad definition, literature includes non-fictional books, articles or other printed information on a particular subject.Etymologically, the term derives from Latin literatura/litteratura "learning, a writing, grammar," originally "writing formed with letters," from litera/littera "letter". In spite of this, the term has also been applied to spoken or sung texts. Developments in print technology have allowed an ever-growing distribution and proliferation of written works, which now includes electronic literature. Literature is classified according to whether it is poetry, prose or drama, and such works are categorized according to historical periods, or their adherence to certain aesthetic features, or genre.
Literature can be defined as written works, including fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction, that are considered to possess artistic or intellectual merit and are intended to be read and appreciated for their literary qualities. It encompasses various forms of storytelling and expression, often reflecting the cultural, social, historical, and individual experiences and perspectives of the authors. Literature is typically characterized by its creative use of language, narrative structure, symbolism, and thematic exploration, and it has the power to entertain, educate, inspire, and provoke thought and reflection.
learning; acquaintance with letters or books
the collective body of literary productions, embracing the entire results of knowledge and fancy preserved in writing; also, the whole body of literary productions or writings upon a given subject, or in reference to a particular science or branch of knowledge, or of a given country or period; as, the literature of Biblical criticism; the literature of chemistry
the class of writings distinguished for beauty of style or expression, as poetry, essays, or history, in distinction from scientific treatises and works which contain positive knowledge; belles-lettres
the occupation, profession, or business of doing literary work
Literature is the art of written work and can, in some circumstances, refer exclusively to published sources. The word literature literally means "things made from letters" and the pars pro toto term "letters" is sometimes used to signify "literature," as in the figures of speech "arts and letters" and "man of letters." Literature is commonly classified as having two major forms—fiction & non-fiction—and two major techniques—poetry and prose. Literature may consist of texts based on factual information, as well as on original imagination, such as polemical works as well as autobiography, and reflective essays as well as belles-lettres. Literature can be classified according to historical periods, genres, and political influences. The concept of genre, which earlier was limited, has broadened over the centuries. A genre consists of artistic works which fall within a certain central theme, and examples of genre include romance, mystery, crime, fantasy, erotica, and adventure, among others. Important historical periods in English literature include Old English, Middle English, the Renaissance, the 17th Century Shakespearean and Elizabethan times, the 18th Century Restoration, 19th Century Victorian, and 20th Century Modernism. Important intellectual movements that have influenced the study of literature include feminism, post-colonialism, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, post-modernism, romanticism, and Marxism.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
lit′ėr-a-tūr, n. the science of letters or what is written: the whole body of literary compositions in any language, or on a given subject: all literary productions except those relating to positive science and art, usually confined, however, to the belles-lettres.—adj. Lit′eratured (Shak.), learned, having literary knowledge.—Light literature, books which can be read and understood without mental exertion: fiction; Polite literature, belles-lettres. [Fr.,—L. literatura—litera, a letter.]
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
defined by Carlyle "as an 'apocalypse of nature,' a revealing of the 'open secret,' a 'continuous revelation' of the God-like in the terrestrial and common, which ever endures there, and is brought out now in this dialect, now in that, with various degrees of clearness ... there being touches of it (i. e. the God-like) in the dark stormful indignation of a Byron, nay, in the withered mockery of a French sceptic, his mockery of the false, a love and worship of the true ... how much more in the sphere harmony of a Shakespeare, the cathedral music of a Milton; something of it too in those humble, genuine, lark-notes of a Burns, skylark starting from the humble furrow far overhead into the blue depths, and singing to us so genuinely there."
The Roycroft Dictionary
The art of saying a thing by saying something else just as good.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest. The body of written works produced in a particular language, country, or age. (Webster, 3d ed)
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'Literature' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1951
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'Literature' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4389
Rank popularity for the word 'Literature' in Nouns Frequency: #886
The numerical value of Literature in Chaldean Numerology is: 6
The numerical value of Literature in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3
Literature must become party literature. Down with unpartisan litterateurs! Down with the superman of literature! Literature must become a part of the general cause of the proletariat.
We have a large, organized team on the inside, anywhere that Staten Island has literature put up, we can put up union literature.
Anywhere that Staten Island has literature put up, we can put up union literature, we didn't do Staten Island last time.
The very essence of literature is the war between emotion and intellect, between life and death. When literature becomes too intellectual -- when it begins to ignore the passions, the motions -- it becomes sterile, silly, and actually without substance.
I am interested in feminist writing and theory, the novel…and the ethical and political implications of writing and reading fiction, while I specialize in 20th- and 21st-century French literature, I have a soft spot for literature from the 18th and 19th centuries, despite the myriad ways it has of killing off its women.
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for Literature
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- literaturaCatalan, Valencian
- λογοτεχνία, βιβλιογραφίαGreek
- ادبیات, ادبPersian
- literatuerWestern Frisian
- litreachasScottish Gaelic
- 文献, 資料, 文学Japanese
- LiteraturLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
- literatuurLimburgish, Limburgan, Limburger
- sastera, persuratan, kesusasteraanMalay
- književnost, књижевност, literaturaSerbo-Croatian
- letërsi, literaturëAlbanian
- literatura, panitikanTagalog
- edebiyat, literatür, yazınTurkish
- ئەدەبىياتUyghur, Uighur
- văn học, văn chươngVietnamese
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"Literature." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Literature>.