literalism [lit-er-uh-liz-uh m] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. adherence to the exact letter or the literal sense, as in translation or interpretation: to interpret the law with uncompromising literalism.
  2. a peculiarity of expression resulting from this: The work is studded with these obtuse literalisms.
  3. exact representation or portrayal, without idealization, as in art or literature: a literalism more appropriate to journalism than to the novel.

Origin of literalism First recorded in 1635–45; literal + -ism Related formslit·er·al·ist, nounlit·er·al·is·tic, adjectivelit·er·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb Examples from the Web for literalism Contemporary Examples of literalism

  • Things are so bad that we do not even realize that literalism itself had a different meaning in past epochs.

    Gwyneth Was Right: America Turned Communication Into a Weaponized Battlefield

    James Poulos

    June 1, 2014

  • Historical Examples of literalism

  • It is literalism, however, which bears the brunt of his attack.

    Early Theories of Translation

    Flora Ross Amos

  • This was so deep a conviction of her soul, that she had little patience with literalism.

    The Story of a Life

    J. Breckenridge Ellis

  • They are immobilised by the dead weight of Biblical literalism.

    Thoughts on religion at the front

    Neville Stuart Talbot

  • Literalism and fanaticism are not vices confined to any one sect.

    The End Of The World

    Edward Eggleston

  • The literalism of the Panorama has lately been invaded by an effort toward the Ideal.

    Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, No. IX.–February, 1851.–Vol. II.


  • British Dictionary definitions for literalism literalism noun

    1. the disposition to take words and statements in their literal sense
    2. literal or realistic portrayal in art or literature

    Derived Formsliteralist, nounliteralistic, adjectiveliteralistically, adverb

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