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

The orchestra was made up of literary and artistic Londoners and the author’s friends. Constance Grady, Vox, "Being a librarian used to be considered too dangerous a profession for women," 11 Aug. 2018 The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, identifies teenagers with outstanding artistic and literary talent and brings their work to a national audience through The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Charlene Paparizos, cleveland.com, "Chagrin Falls Students to be Honored for their Artwork at Scholastic Exhibition: Community Voices," 19 Jan. 2018 For the writer of serious literary fiction, the analogous trick is to inflict a traumatic injury on a child. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: They Fall to Earth, We Know Not Where," 18 Jan. 2019 Bird Box is a relatively quiet, spooky novel, the kind of literary fiction that’s perfect reading for a windy October night leading up to Halloween. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The first Bird Box trailer makes it look like the opposite of A Quiet Place," 24 Oct. 2018 Each chapter begins with an epigraph from Édouard Glissant, another Martinican writer who, with Chamoiseau and others, counts among the luminaries of the literary movement called Créolité. New York Times, "Fleeing a Caribbean Plantation Into a Mythic Wilderness," 27 June 2018 But Mr Ali is now a venerable member of Britain’s literary establishment, a fitting destination for a former president of the Oxford Union. The Economist, "1968 was no mere year," 5 Apr. 2018 He was often criticized negatively by the literary establishment. Connie Ogle, miamiherald, "Tom Wolfe tells us just how crazy we are | Miami Herald," 10 Nov. 2012 And sharing a literary cultural touchstone is lethal to loneliness. Annie Daly, SELF, "16 Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy When You Travel A LOT, From People Who Do It," 6 Dec. 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

13 Apr 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 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

Comments on literary

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