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

Some of the prominent characters in her earlier works — a bookstore owner, a literary agent — urge writing on the masses, offering the promise of a happy pairing of literature and commerce. Susan Dominus, New York Times, "In Love With Language, but Not Necessarily With Each Other," 30 Aug. 2019 Historians believe girls were taught literature and math, as well as dancing and gymnastics. Raquel López, National Geographic, "Did sons and daughters get the same education in ancient Greece?," 28 Aug. 2019 As a scholar whose focus has been both on Kipling’s children’s literature and, more broadly, the representation of animals in children’s fiction, I’ve been asked to take part in a BBC Radio 3 Proms Plus talk on the subject. Sue Walsh, Quartz India, "There’s more to “The Jungle Book” than colonial stereotypes," 21 Aug. 2019 Toni Morrison, a giant of literature and a towering voice for black lives and identities, died today at 88. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Missing Toni Morrison: raceAhead," 6 Aug. 2019 Aside from her illustrious literary career, which spanned four decades and included 11 novels and multiple works of non-fiction, Morrison also taught creative writing and literature and multiple universities. Brian Pascus, CBS News, "Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize winning author of "Beloved," has died at 88," 6 Aug. 2019 This is in line with the literature and a fair reading of the voluminous data on the subject. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Yes, the U.S. Has a Mental-Health Problem," 6 Aug. 2019 Morrison wove everything from African literature and slave folklore to the Bible and Gabriel Garcia Marquez into the most diverse, yet harmonious, of literary communities. Hillel Italie, The Denver Post, "Nobel laureate Toni Morrison dead at 88," 6 Aug. 2019 Marks authored the book Toni Morrison's Beloved and the Apotropaic Imagination, which explores the intersection between African American literature and ancient Greek religion. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Dallas remembers Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, whose reach extended to academia and theater," 6 Aug. 2019

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

8 Sep 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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