literary

adjective
lit·​er·​ary | \ ˈli-tə-ˌrer-ē \

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 \ adverb
literariness \ ˈli-​tə-​ˌrer-​ē-​nəs \ 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

Moving Targets’ Fulsome homage to the obviously deific is a hallowed literary tradition. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Please, Santa: Not Another Tome About Churchill," 20 Dec. 2018 Ireland's capital, Dublin, is a city both haunted and inspired by a rich literary tradition, as well as its green and aquatic surroundings, and pivotal role in European history. Melissa Kravitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Things to Do in Dublin For Everyone," 19 June 2018 His poetry appears in many literary journals, including Poet Lore, Off the Coast, San Pedro River Review, Connecticut River Review and Tule Review. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "The Poems Of Aaron Caycedo-Kimura: Honoring Ones Parents," 13 June 2018 The authorized biographer of the literary legend traveled and worked closely with Bradbury for more than a decade. Yadira Sanchez Olson, Lake County News-Sun, "Chicago writing students get tour of Waukegan — 'the garden where Ray Bradbury grew'," 3 May 2018 The embattled Fresno State professor who tweeted out against Barbara Bush last week was hailed on Saturday by a local literary community and received backing from civil right groups. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Professor who tweeted anti-Barbara Bush comment applauded at arts festival," 23 Apr. 2018 Albert Murray: Collected Novels & Poems: Train Whistle Guitar/The Spyglass Tree/The Seven League Boots/The Magic Keys/Poems is a retrospective of the collected work of literary legend Albert Murray. Hope Wabuke, The Root, "These New and Upcoming Books by Black Authors Will Give You Life in These Perilous Times," 11 Feb. 2018 But the literary community in Michigan has been so supportive of me and my book. Ellen Piligian, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Notable Books 2018: Six winners talk about the award and their work," 14 Jan. 2018 Featuring Jim Carrey, this Christmas masterpiece transforms the literary world of Dr. Seuss into a live-action film. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "The Best Christmas Movies to Watch According to Your Zodiac Sign," 26 Nov. 2018

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

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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

Comments on literary

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