Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
result(s) from the 1913
Lit"er*al (?), a. [F. litéral, littéral, L. litteralis, literalis, fr. littera, litera, a letter. See Letter.]
1. According to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical; as, the literal meaning of a phrase.
It hath but one simple literal sense whose light the owls can not abide.
2. Following the letter or exact words; not free.
A middle course between the rigor of literal translations and the liberty of paraphrasts.
3. Consisting of, or expressed by, letters.
The literal notation of numbers was known to Europeans before the ciphers.
4. Giving a strict or literal construction; unimaginative; matter-of fast; -- applied to persons.
Literal contract (Law), contract of which the whole evidence is given in writing. Bouvier. -- Literal equation (Math.), an equation in which known quantities are expressed either wholly or in part by means of letters; -- distinguished from a numerical equation.
Lit"er*al, n. Literal meaning. [Obs.] Sir T. Browne.