literature

noun
lit·​er·​a·​ture | \ ˈli-tə-rə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce literature (audio) , ˈli-trə-ˌchu̇r, ˈli-tər-ˌchu̇r, ˈli-tə-, -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r How to pronounce literature (audio) \

Definition of literature

1a(1) : writings in prose or verse especially : writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest literature stands related to man as science stands to nature — J. H. Newman
(2) : an example of such writings what came out, though rarely literature, was always a roaring good storyPeople
b : the body of writings on a particular subject scientific literature
c : the body of written works produced in a particular language, country, or age French literature Renaissance literature
d : printed matter (such as leaflets or circulars) campaign literature
2 : the production of literary work especially as an occupation Literature is his profession.
3 : the aggregate of a usually specified type of musical compositions the Brahms piano literature
4 archaic : literary culture

Examples of literature in a Sentence

She took courses in history and literature. Her education gave her an appreciation for great literature. He's an expert in American literature. the literature of the Renaissance studies in different Asian literatures Can you send me some literature about your product?
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Recent Examples on the Web

Simple: few works of literature since Homer can match the piercing, unshakably humane gaze that Grossman turns on the haggard face of war. The Economist, "Vasily Grossman, the greatest bard of the second world war," 7 June 2019 Indeed, a burgeoning body of literature is revealing dogs’ ability to interpret non-verbal cues in people. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "If you’re chronically stressed, your dog could be too," 6 June 2019 What complicates a work of entertainment is basic to a work of literature. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019 This lamp, available at Design Within Reach and created by designer Max Gunawan, is perfect for showing off your love of literature. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This Folding Book Lamp Puts The "Lit" In "Literary"," 17 Sep. 2018 Eleven days later, Ajani was studying English literature at Governors’ Village STEM Academy when someone on the intercom announced that the campus was being locked down. John Woodrow Cox, The Seattle Times, "Numerous school lockdowns are traumatizing the nation’s children," 26 Dec. 2018 There is a voluminous academic literature on these subjects, but a new paper in the journal Energy Policy helps to cut through the fog. David Roberts, Vox, "What made solar panels so cheap? Thank government policy.," 20 Nov. 2018 That's the central thesis of Johnni Langer, a historian specializing in Old Norse mythology and literature at the Federal University of Paraíba in Brazil. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "“Wolf’s jaw” star cluster may have inspired parts of Ragnarök myth," 16 Nov. 2018 While there has been abundant medical literature on South Asian cardiovascular disease, the risk has still been largely hidden due to lack of disaggregated data, according to the report. Monica Luhar /, NBC News, "New report details high heart disease risk in South Asians in U.S.," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'literature.' 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 literature

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for literature

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin litteratura writing, grammar, learning, from litteratus

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Statistics for literature

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for literature

The first known use of literature was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for literature

literature

noun

English Language Learners Definition of literature

: written works (such as poems, plays, and novels) that are considered to be very good and to have lasting importance
: books, articles, etc., about a particular subject
: printed materials (such as booklets, leaflets, and brochures) that provide information about something

literature

noun
lit·​er·​a·​ture | \ ˈli-tə-rə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce literature (audio) \

Kids Definition of literature

1 : written works considered as having high quality and ideas of lasting and widespread interest
2 : written material I read some travel literature before my vacation.

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More from Merriam-Webster on literature

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with literature

Spanish Central: Translation of literature

Nglish: Translation of literature for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of literature for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about literature

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