literal

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English[edit]

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Etymology[edit]

From Old French literal, from Late Latin litteralis, also literalis (of or pertaining to letters or to writing), from Latin littera, litera (a letter); see letter.

Adjective[edit]

literal (comparative more literal, superlative most literal)

  1. 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 “hands full of bananas” but it means empty-handed.
    • Hooker
      a middle course between the rigour of literal translation and the liberty of paraphrasts
  2. 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.
  3. (uncommon) Consisting of, or expressed by, letters.
    a literal equation
    • Johnson
      The literal notation of numbers was known to Europeans before the ciphers.
  4. (of a person) Giving a strict or literal construction; unimaginative; matter-of-fact.

Antonyms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

literal (plural literals)

  1. (programming) A value, as opposed to an identifier, written into the source code of a computer program.
  2. (logic) A propositional variable or the negation of a propositional variable.[1]

Translations[edit]

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Anagrams[edit]


Old French[edit]

Adjective[edit]

literal m

  1. literal (exactly as stated)
  2. literal (relating to or composed of letters)

Descendants[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Adjective[edit]

literal m, f (plural literais; comparable)

  1. literal (understood exactly as written, without additional interpretation)

Noun[edit]

literal m (plural literais)

  1. (programming) literal (value written in the source code)

Related terms[edit]


Spanish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

literal m, f (plural literales)

  1. literal