American Dictionary of the English Language

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LIT'ERAL, adjective [Latin litera, a letter.]

1. According to the letter; primitive; real; not figurative or metaphorical; as the literal meaning of a phrase.

2. Following the letter or exact words; not free; as a literal translation.

3. Consisting of letters.

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

LIT'ERAL, noun literal meaning. [Not used.]