Definition of literalism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlidərəlizəm/
Pronunciation: /ˈlitrəˌlizəm/


1The interpretation of words in their usual or most basic sense: biblical literalism
More example sentences
  • It is not old-fashioned literalism but sound interpretation to read the Code as meaning what it says.
  • Finally, Luther was unwilling to sacrifice political prudence and practicality on the altar of biblical literalism, or to identify Christianity with sectarian withdrawal from the political sphere.
  • In this context, the relevant principles are that words should be interpreted in the way in which a reasonable commercial person would construe them, and literalism should be resisted in the interpretative process.
1.1Literal representation in literature or art.
Example sentences
  • Maybe I'm missing the point and insisting on a literalism that isn't there.
  • Although I feel there needs to be more clarity and in some cases less literalism in approaching such political themes, it is definitely positive for artists to begin moving in this direction.
  • A little naïve in their literalism and earnestness, these works are extremely competent technically.



Pronunciation: /ˈlidərələst/
Pronunciation: /ˈlitrələst/
Example sentences
  • Being premillenialists, however, they were not Biblical literalists and had no problem constructing elaborate symbologies from, for example, the book of Daniel.
  • But for Biblical literalists, this poses quite the problem.
  • We're not didactic, and we're not literalists, and we don't take a particular stance that aligns with any party.


Pronunciation: /ˌlitərəˈlistik/ Pronunciation: /ˌlitrə-/
Example sentences
  • The theological pettifoggery of their literalistic religion has to be read to be believed.
  • How strange, then, that the sections of the Church which seem to be most ‘successful’ at the moment - or at least, the most noisy - are also the most literalistic, and least imaginative, of all.
  • And yes, I agree, reducing the film to a ‘dream’ etc is a little too… literalistic, for me.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lit·er·al·ism

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