What does literature mean?

Definitions for literature
ˈlɪt ər ə tʃər, -ˌtʃʊər, ˈlɪ trə-lit·er·a·ture

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word literature.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. literature(noun)

    creative writing of recognized artistic value

  2. literature, lit(noun)

    the humanistic study of a body of literature

    "he took a course in Russian lit"

  3. literature(noun)

    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"

  4. literature(noun)

    the profession or art of a writer

    "her place in literature is secure"


  1. literature(Noun)

    The body of all written works.

    Etymology: From literatura or litteratura.

  2. literature(Noun)

    The collected creative writing of a nation, people, group or culture.

    Etymology: From literatura or litteratura.

  3. literature(Noun)

    All the papers, treatises etc. published in academic journals on a particular subject.

    Etymology: From literatura or litteratura.

  4. literature(Noun)

    Written fiction of a high standard.

    SF is rarely literature because the characters are so poorly realised. - Adam Cadre

    Etymology: From literatura or litteratura.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Literature(noun)

    learning; acquaintance with letters or books

  2. Literature(noun)

    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

  3. Literature(noun)

    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

  4. Literature(noun)

    the occupation, profession, or business of doing literary work


  1. Literature

    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

  1. Literature

    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. literaturalitera, a letter.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Literature

    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

  1. literature

    The art of saying a thing by saying something else just as good.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Literature

    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

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'literature' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1951

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'literature' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4389

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'literature' in Nouns Frequency: #886

Anagrams for literature »

  1. literatuer

  2. literateur

How to pronounce literature?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say literature in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of literature in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of literature in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of literature in a Sentence

  1. Lawrence Durrell:

    There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.

  2. Sven Spichiger:

    We know from the literature that a small percentage of these will go on to form colonies next year, should they have been given the chance to escape.

  3. Isaac Bashevis Singer:

    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.

  4. Gustave Flaubert:

    The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.

  5. André Maurois:

    In literature, as in love, we are astonished at the choice made by other people.

Images & Illustrations of literature

  1. literatureliteratureliteratureliteratureliterature

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Translations for literature

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"literature." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 18 Jun 2021. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/literature>.

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