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
Origin: From literatura or litteratura.
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
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
Images & Illustrations of literature
Translations for literature
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- literaturaCatalan, Valencian
- λογοτεχνία, βιβλιογραφίαGreek
- ادبیات, ادبPersian
- literatuerWestern Frisian
- litreachasScottish Gaelic
- 文献, 文学, 資料Japanese
- LiteraturLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
- literatuurLimburgish, Limburgan, Limburger
- persuratan, kesusasteraan, sasteraMalay
- књижевност, književnost, literaturaSerbo-Croatian
- literaturë, letërsiAlbanian
- panitikan, literaturaTagalog
- edebiyat, yazın, literatürTurkish
- ئەدەبىياتUyghur, Uighur
- văn học, văn chươngVietnamese
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