literary

adjective
lit·​er·​ary | \ ˈli-tə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce literary (audio) \

Definition of literary

1a : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of humane learning or literature a literary education a literary institution
b : bookish sense 2 an essay written in a very literary style
c : of or relating to books a literary agent a literary manuscript
2a : well-read he is literary, given to quoting to himself rather long stretches of remembered lines— F. J. Hoffman
b : of or relating to authors or scholars or to their professions her literary biographies

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Other Words from literary

literarily \ ˌli-​tə-​ˈrer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce literarily (audio) \ adverb
literariness \ ˈli-​tə-​ˌrer-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce literariness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for literary

Synonyms

bookish, erudite, learned

Antonyms

colloquial, nonliterary, unbookish

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Examples of literary in a Sentence

Do his books have any literary merit? Mystery fiction is only one of many literary forms. an essay written in a very literary style The author uses many literary devices in his work. He entered the literary world right out of college. She hired a literary agent.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Camilleri didn’t aim for Italy’s highbrow literary circles, where culture pages of newspapers are filled with esoteric essays. Washington Post, "Camilleri, author of Montalbano detective series, dies at 93," 18 July 2019 Confounding because this book is the literary equivalent of a monorail — the answer to a question nobody asked. David Shribman, BostonGlobe.com, "‘The Reluctant Prince’ looks fondly back on the life of JFK Jr.," 17 July 2019 Following the success of the first comic, the McElroys, Pietsch, and their publisher First Second Books are primed for the second installment of The Adventure Zone’s literary journey, Murder on the Rockport Limited! Daniel Menegaz, EW.com, "The Adventure Zone," 16 July 2019 Amazon changed the book world that Donovan, the author and literary agent, lives in, and could do the same in space. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Dallas author warns about Apollo 11 moon landing hoax theories, but says we can and will go back," 16 July 2019 Yana Paskova for The New York Times Michael Seidenberg, whose clandestine bookshop and literary salon on the Upper East Side was much loved by bibliophiles, literati and inveterate browsers, died on July 8 in a hospital in Danbury, Conn. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Michael Seidenberg, Who Ran a (Sort of) Secret Bookstore, Dies at 64," 15 July 2019 Baltimore’s performing, literary, musical, fine and other world-renowned arts scenes coalesce around the Station North and Mid-Town Belvedere neighborhoods July 19-21 for the 38th Artscape festival. Sameer Rao, baltimoresun.com, "What to see, hear and do at Artscape 2019," 15 July 2019 There’s an almost literary short story to be written about Andy Murray’s 2019 Australian Open. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "50 Parting Thoughts From Wimbledon 2019," 14 July 2019 The 1993 honor served as an adjustment to this country’s literary canon, which includes such previous honorees as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Alan Zilberman, Twin Cities, "Toni Morrison is a great storyteller, in her books and in this new documentary," 4 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'literary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of literary

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for literary

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for literary

The first known use of literary was in 1605

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More Definitions for literary

literary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of literary

: of or relating to literature
: used in literature
: having a lot of knowledge about literature : known for reading or writing books

literary

adjective
lit·​er·​ary | \ ˈli-tə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce literary (audio) \

Kids Definition of literary

: of or relating to literature

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More from Merriam-Webster on literary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for literary

Spanish Central: Translation of literary

Nglish: Translation of literary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of literary for Arabic Speakers

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