Literal meaning

lĭtər-əl
A letter or symbol that stands for itself as opposed to a feature, function, or entity associated with it in a programming language.

$ can be a symbol that refers to the end of a line, but as a literal, it is a dollar sign.

noun
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Consisting of, using, or expressed by letters.

Literal notation.

adjective
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(logic) A propositional variable or the negation of a propositional variable.
noun
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Of, involving, or expressed by a letter or letters of the alphabet.

Literal notation.

adjective
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Following or representing the exact words of the original; word-for-word.

A literal translation.

adjective
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Being so in fact but not in name; virtual.

The chairman is a literal tyrant.

adjective
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(chiefly brit.) A typographical error.
noun
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In programming, any data written into the program that remains unchanged when translated into machine language. Examples are values used for calculations as well as text messages displayed on screen. In the following lines of code, the literals are 1 and the value is one. See string literal and numeric literal.if x = 1print "the value is one"endif.
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Exactly as stated; read or understood without additional interpretation; according to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical.

The literal translation is “hands full of bananas" but it means empty-handed.

adjective
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Following the letter or exact words; not free; not taking liberties.

A literal reading of the law would prohibit it, but that is clearly not the intent.

adjective
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(uncommon) Consisting of, or expressed by, letters.

A literal equation.

adjective
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(of a person) Giving a strict or literal construction; unimaginative; matter-of-fact.
adjective
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(programming) A value, as opposed to an identifier, written into the source code of a computer program.
noun
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The definition of literal is a translation that strictly follows the exact words.

An example of literal is the belief that the world was created in exactly six days with the seventh day devoted to rest, as per Genesis in the Bible.

adjective
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Conforming or limited to the simplest, nonfigurative, or most obvious meaning of a word or words.
adjective
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Word for word; verbatim.

A literal translation.

adjective
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Avoiding exaggeration, metaphor, or embellishment; factual; prosaic.

A literal description; a literal mind.

adjective
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Real; not going beyond the actual facts; accurate; unvarnished.

The literal truth.

adjective
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Origin of literal

  • Middle English from Old French from Late Latin litterālis of letters from Latin littera, lītera letter letter

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French literal, from Late Latin litteralis, also literalis (“of or pertaining to letters or to writing"), from Latin littera, litera (“a letter"); see letter.

    From Wiktionary