Literature is defined as books and other written works, especially those considered to have creative or artistic merit or lasting value.(noun)
See literature in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: ME litterature < OFr < L litteratura < littera, letter
See literature in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: Middle English, book learning
Origin: , from Old French litterature
Origin: , from Latin litterātūra
Origin: , from litterātus, lettered; see literate.
See literature in Ologies
the style and theories of the Greek writers of Alexandria, 325-30 B.C., whose style was highly ornamented and obscure and favored such forms as the elegy, epigram, epyllion, and lyric and also ventured into the drama. —Alexandrianist, n., adj.
an art form, as a story, painting, or sculpture, in which the components have a symbolic, figurative meaning. —allegorist, allegorizer, n. —allegorical, adj.
the placing of a scene, character, event, etc., where it clearly does not belong, either for special effect or as an oversight. See also anachronism. —anachoristic, adj.
an error in chronology, as the placing of an event or figure in a period or scene in which it did not or could not belong. —anachronistic, adj.
a collection of stories, poems, or other literary material. See also christianity. —anthologist, n.
the satirical or humorous use of a word or phrase to convey an idea exactly opposite to its real significance, as Shakespeare’s “honorable men” for Caesar’s murderers. —antiphrastic, adj.
the act or process of plagiarizing one’s own work.
the view that literature is a fine art, especially as having a purely aesthetic function. —belletrist, n. —belles lettres, n. —belletristic, adj.
an allegorical or moralizing commentary, usually medieval and sometimes illustrated, based upon real or fabled animals.
the condition of having a book on the bestseller list.
the expurgation of a literary work in a highly prudish manner. Also bowdlerization. —bowdlerize, v.
the revival in arts and letters in the 16th century in Italy. —cinquecentist, n., adj.
1. the act or art of analyzing the quality of something, especially a literary or artistic work, a musical or dramatic performance, etc.
2. a critical comment, article, or essay; critique. —critic, n.
a person who is well acquainted with culture, as literature, the arts, etc., and who advocates their worth to society.
the analysis of original texts or documents.
the art and literature of 13th-century Italy. —duecentist, n., adj.
the art or practice of writing letters. —epistolographic, adj.
an abnormal interest in erotic literature.
1. the habit of writing essays.
2. the quality that allows a composition to be called an essay. —essayist, n.
an anthology or select collection of literary pieces.
the writing or compilation of marginal or interlinear notes in a manuscript text. —glossographer, n.
a scholar of literature who shows parallels or harmony between passages from different authors. See also music.
a theory or practice of a group of English and American poets between 1909 and 1917, especially emphasis upon the use of common speech, new rhythms, unrestricted subject matter, and clear and precise images. —Imagist, n. —Imagistic, adj.
a member of an order of Armenian monks, founded in 1715 by Mekhitar da Pietro, dedicated to literary work, especially the perfecting of the Armenian language and the translation into it of the major works of other languages.
an emphasis in narrative or dramatic literary works on the sensational in situation or action. —melodramatist, n. —melodramatic, adj.
the art or practice of writing memoirs. —memoirist, n.
the excessively optimistic outlook of Wilkins Micawber, a character from Dickens’s novel David Copperfield. —Micawberish, adj.
1. ancient forms of writing, as in inscriptions, documents, and manuscripts.
2. the study of ancient writings, including decipherment, translation, and determination of age and date. —paleographer, palaeographer, n. —paleographic, palaeographic, adj.
the theories and practice of a school of French poets in the 19th century, especially an emphasis upon art for art’s sake, careful metrics, and the repression of emotive elements. —Parnassian, n., adj.
the quality of being hypocritical or selfish like Dickens’s character Seth Pecksniff in the novel Martin Chuzzlewit. —Pecksniffery, n. —Pecksniffian, adj.
an abnormal interest in pornography.
strict adherence to particular concepts, rules, or ideals of form, style, etc., either as formulated by the artist or as dictated by a school with which the artist is allied, See also art; criticism; language. —purist, n., adj.
a quality in literature that is the product of fidelity to the habits, speech, manners, history, folklore, and beliefs of a particular geographical section, as Thomas Hardy and Wessex. —regionalist, n. —regionalistic, adj.
an ancient commentator on the classics, especially the writing of marginalia (scholia) on grammatical and interpretive cruxes. —scholiastic, adj.
the writing of satires. —sillographer, n.
the systematic study of folklore and folk literature, especially concerning origin and transmission. —storiologist, n.
the actions or characteristics of the imaginary inhabitants of Luggnagg, a country created by Swift in Gulliver’s Travels.
the principles of a literary movement originated during the latter part of the 19th century in France and highly influential in literature written in English, characterized especially by an emphasis upon the associative character of verbal, often private, symbols and the use of synesthetic devices to suggest color and music. —Symbolist, n., adj.
1. a type of mythmaking or storytelling in which monsters and marvels are featured.
2. a collection of such stories. —teratologist, n. —teratological, adj.
a series of four related works. —tetralogist, n. —tetralogical, adj.
the introduction of gods or supernatural entities into a dramatic or literary work, especially to resolve situations. —theotechnic, adj.
a series of three related works. —trilogist, n. —trilogical, adj.
the condition of having romantic qualities like Werther, a character from Goethe’s The Sorrows of Werther. —Wertherian, adj.
a variety of academic or literary research attempting to find the sources behind works of the imagination, named after a noted study of this kind, John Livingston Lowes’ Road to Xanadu (1927), an inquiry into Coleridge’s poem, “Xanadu.” —Xanaduist, n., adj.
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