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Meaning of LITERAL

Pronunciation:  'liturul

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  a mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical failures of some kind
  2. [adj]  without interpretation or embellishment; "a literal translation of the scene before him"
  3. [adj]  (of a translation) corresponding word for word with the original; "literal translation of the article"; "an awkward word-for-word translation"
  4. [adj]  limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text; "a literal translation"
  5. [adj]  of the clearest kind; usually used for emphasis; "it's the literal truth"; "a matter of investment, pure and simple"
  6. [adj]  lacking stylistic embellishment; "a literal description"; "wrote good but plain prose"; "a plain unadorned account of the coronation"; "a forthright unembellished style"
  7. [adj]  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"

LITERAL is a 7 letter word that starts with L.


 Synonyms: actual, denotative, erratum, exact, explicit, genuine, literal error, misprint, plain, pure and simple, real, true, typo, typographical error, unembellished, word-for-word
 Antonyms: figurative, nonliteral
 See Also: error, mistake, unrhetorical



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \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.
  2. \Lit"er*al\, n.
    Literal meaning. [Obs.] --Sir T. Browne.
Computing Dictionary

A constant made available to a process, by inclusion in the executable text. Most modern systems do not allow texts to modify themselves during execution, so literals are indeed constant; their value is written at compile-time and is read-only at run time.

In contrast, values placed in variables or files and accessed by the process via a symbolic name, can be changed during execution. This may be an asset. For example, messages can be given in a choice of languages by placing the translation in a file.

Literals are used when such modification is not desired. The name of the file mentioned above (not its content), or a physical constant such as 3.14159, might be coded as a literal. Literals can be accessed quickly, a potential advantage of their use.

Thesaurus Terms
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