: in a literal sense or manner: such as
: in a way that uses the ordinary or primary meaning of a term or expression
- He took the remark literally.
- a word that can be used both literally and figuratively
—used to emphasize the truth and accuracy of a statement or description
- The party was attended by literally hundreds of people.
: with exact equivalence : with the meaning of each individual word given exactly
- The term "Mardi Gras" literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French.
: in a completely accurate way
- a story that is basically true even if not literally true
: in effect : virtually
—used in an exaggerated way to emphasize a statement or description that is not literally true or possible
- will literally turn the world upside down to combat cruelty or injustice
- —Norman Cousins