- 1[usually before noun] being the basic or usual meaning of a word or phrase I am not referring to “small” people in the literal sense of the word. The literal meaning of “petrify” is “turn to stone.” compare figurative, metaphorical
- 2[usually before noun] that follows the original words exactly a literal translation compare free
- 3(disapproving) lacking imagination Her interpretation of the music was too literal.
literalnessjump to other results