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literary Line breaks: lit¦er|ary
Pronunciation: /ˈlɪt(ə)(rə)ri/

Definition of literary in English:


1 [attributive] Concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for quality of form: the great literary works of the nineteenth century
More example sentences
  • The second broad topic of dissension concerns the modes of analysis in literary and cultural studies.
  • These ideas have gained a lot of currency in the study of literary genres.
  • Eventually, he found an agent after one of his short stories was published in a literary magazine.
1.1Concerned with literature as a profession: the newspaper’s literary editor
More example sentences
  • The support of leading literary figures, Burns scholars and leading entertainers lent weight to the cause.
  • Considered to be an immense literary figure, he earned his place in history with a simple tearjerker.
  • But then it was read by the literary editor of the Washington Post, who was amazed by what he saw.
2(Of language) associated with literary works or other formal writing; having a marked style intended to create a particular emotional effect: the script was too literary
More example sentences
  • Yes, I do feel if Urdu has to survive as a literary language it has to increase its vocabulary.
  • This endeavor focused on folklore and history and began to unify the Ukrainian literary language.
  • His language is very accessible as it is closer to the speaking rather than the literary language.
poetic, dramatic, dignified, solemn;
elaborate, ornate, flowery, purple


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'relating to the letters of the alphabet'): from Latin litterarius, from littera (see letter).



Pronunciation: /ˈlɪtərərɪli/
Example sentences
  • Authors such as William Faulkner, William Styron, Richard Wright, Eudora Welty, and Elizabeth Spencer, to name just a few, have been attracted both personally and literarily to Southern Europe.
  • More ambitious both literarily and graphically, it makes for the better read.
  • One reason for believing the reports are fictions is that apocalypses seem to allude literarily to previous apocalypses.


Example sentences
  • Let me now assuage the fear of theory by pointing out that there are theories which actually threaten or ignore the literariness of literature.
  • This displacement seems also to occur in this discussion, were it not for the fact that its theoretical insights respond to the novel's complex negotiation of literariness.
  • In fact, though, the novel's real interest is in its own literariness.

Words that rhyme with literary

brasserie • chancery

Definition of literary in:

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