Literally



[lit-er-uh-lee] /ˈlɪt ər ə li/

adverb
1.
in the or strict sense: She failed to grasp the metaphor and interpreted the poem literally.
What does the word mean literally?
2.
in a literal manner; word for word:
to translate literally.
3.
actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy:
The city was literally destroyed.
4.
in effect; in substance; very nearly; virtually:
I literally died when she walked out on stage in that costume.
/ˈlɪtərəlɪ/
adverb
1.
in a literal manner
2.
(intensifier): there were literally thousands of people
adv.

1530s, “in a literal sense,” from literal + -ly (2). Erroneously used in reference to metaphors, hyperbole, etc., even by writers like Dryden and Pope, to indicate “what follows must be taken in the strongest admissible sense” (1680s), which is opposite to the word’s real meaning and a long step down the path to the modern misuse of it.

We have come to such a pass with this emphasizer that where the truth would require us to insert with a strong expression ‘not literally, of course, but in a manner of speaking’, we do not hesitate to insert the very word we ought to be at pains to repudiate; … such false coin makes honest traffic in words impossible. [Fowler, 1924]

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    [lit-er-uh l] /ˈlɪt ər əl/ adjective 1. in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical: the literal meaning of a word. 2. following the words of the original very closely and exactly: a literal translation of Goethe. 3. true to fact; not exaggerated; […]

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    [lit-uh-rer-ee] /ˈlɪt əˌrɛr i/ adjective 1. pertaining to or of the nature of books and writings, especially those classed as : literary history. 2. pertaining to authorship: literary style. 3. versed in or acquainted with literature; well-read. 4. engaged in or having the profession of literature or writing: a literary man. 5. characterized by an […]

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    [lit-uh-rer-ee] /ˈlɪt əˌrɛr i/ adjective 1. pertaining to or of the nature of books and writings, especially those classed as : literary history. 2. pertaining to authorship: literary style. 3. versed in or acquainted with literature; well-read. 4. engaged in or having the profession of literature or writing: a literary man. 5. characterized by an […]



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