[ UK /lˈɪtəɹə‍l/ ]
[ US /ˈɫɪtɝəɫ/ ]
  1. being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something
    her actual motive
    a genuine dilemma
    a literal solitude like a desert
  2. avoiding embellishment or exaggeration (used for emphasis)
    it's the literal truth
  3. without interpretation or embellishment
    a literal depiction of the scene before him
  4. limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text
    a literal translation
  1. a mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical failures of some kind
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How To Use literal In A Sentence

  • He literally danced his music into being, conducting his bass players, drummers and horn section with his hips.
  • So far, only a couple of the trees (literally two) have been found to be successful in fending off beetle attacks, using chemical and physical responses similar to those in lower-elevation tree species, such as lodgepole pine and Douglas fir. Louisa Willcox: Whitebark Pine: Functionally Gone in Much of the Greater Yellowstone
  • Soldado literally translates as 'soldier'. The Sun
  • Could the hearts of kings and the counsels of cabinets be known with that literal exactness which is so desirable in politics, and yet so unattainable, we should probably find that Prussia's apparent readiness to lead Germany was owing to her determination that German armies should be led nowhere to the assistance of Austria. The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 07, No. 39, January, 1861
  • Despite literally minutes browsing statto.com, we can't top that. The Knowledge | Which clubs have refunded fans due to player transfers? | Rob Smyth
  • She was literally demanding your complete, undivided attention.
  • Excepting his quaint epithets which he affects to render literally from the Greek, a language above all others blest in the happy marriage of sweet words, and which in our language are mere printer's compound epithets -- such as quaffed divine Literary Remains, Volume 1
  • If the Democrats manage to lose the seat in November, they might consider blaming an election system that is quite literally designed to stimy "majority rule" save in races where there are only two candidates. Balkinization
  • The scientific revolution also had its corrosive impact on a literal interpretation of the Bible. Times, Sunday Times
  • Yes, it means a re-think of the way we give, but it promises to truly lift up lives in these hard times and bring us back to the true definition of the word 'philanthropy,' which literally means "the love of humanity. Melanie Lundquist: Time to Change the Way We Give
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