American English

Definition of literally adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1in a literal way synonym exactly The word “planet” literally means “wandering body.” When I told you to “get lost” I didn't expect to be taken literally. Idioms usually cannot be translated literally into another language.
  2. 2used to emphasize the truth of something that may seem surprising There are literally hundreds of prizes to win.
  3. 3(informal) used to emphasize a word or phrase, even if it is not literally true I literally jumped out of my skin. Although this is a common use of literally, some people think it is not correct.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: literally