Hypertext Webster Gateway: "literal"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Literal \Lit"er*al\, n.
Literal meaning. [Obs.] --Sir T. Browne.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Literal \Lit"er*al\, a. [F. lit['e]ral, litt['e]ral, L.
litteralis, literalis, fr. littera, litera, a letter. See
1. According to the letter or verbal expression; real; not
figurative or metaphorical; as, the literal meaning of a

It hath but one simple literal sense whose light the
owls can not abide. --Tyndale.

2. Following the letter or exact words; not free.

A middle course between the rigor of literal
translations and the liberty of paraphrasts.

3. Consisting of, or expressed by, letters.

The literal notation of numbers was known to
Europeans before the ciphers. --Johnson.

4. Giving a strict or literal construction; unimaginative;
matter-of fast; -- applied to persons.

{Literal contract} (Law), contract of which the whole
evidence is given in writing. --Bouvier.

{Literal equation} (Math.), an equation in which known
quantities are expressed either wholly or in part by means
of letters; -- distinguished from a numerical equation.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of
something; "her actual motive"; "a literal solitude
like a desert"- G.K.Chesterton; "a genuine dilemma"
[syn: {actual}, {genuine}, {real}]
2: without interpretation or embellishment; "a literal
translation of the scene before him"
3: limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text; "a
literal translation" [ant: {figurative}]
4: lacking stylistic embellishment; "a literal description";
"wrote good but plain prose"; "a plain unadorned account
of the coronation"; "a forthright unembellished style"
[syn: {plain}, {unembellished}]
5: of the clearest kind; usually used for emphasis; "it's the
literal truth"; "a matter of investment, pure and simple"
[syn: {pure and simple}]
6: (of a translation) corresponding word for word with the
original; "literal translation of the article"; "an
awkward word-for-word translation" [syn: {word-for-word}]
n : a mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical
failures of some kind [syn: {misprint}, {erratum}, {typographical
error}, {typo}, {literal error}]

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