Exactly as stated; read or understood without additional interpretation; according to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical. (adjective)
Following the letter or exact words; not free; not taking liberties. (adjective)
Consisting of, or expressed by, letters. (adjective)
A value, as opposed to an identifier, written into the source code of a computer program. (noun)
Examples of word literal
The multinational energy and oil giant made the essence of the term literal by turning its exhibition hall on the Olympic Green into a monstrous Chia pet.
â€˜Lateral thinkingâ€™ would be helped, too, by the neural arrangement in the right brainâ€”the sideways extension of axons even makes the phrase literal rather than figurative.
Nevertheless, I'm attracted to the term literal because it leads to another useful concept, "liberal" cartooning.
She's "a girl cut in two," still infatuated with the man who rejected her, and Chabrol makes the title literal when she becomes part of a magic act in the final scene.
But an alarm should sound whenever the word "literal" is used in this context, whether as a badge of pride "I just believe in reading the Bible literally" or as a hint that low-browed fundamentalists are lurking nearby.