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English definition of “literal”

literal

adjective uk   /ˈlɪt.ər.əl/ us    /ˈlɪt̬.ɚ-/
C2 The literal meaning of a word is its original, basic meaning: The literal meaning of 'television' is 'seeing from a distance'. You need to demonstrate to the examiners that you have more than a literal understanding of the text.
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A literal translation of a text is done by translating each word separately, without looking at how the words are used together in a phrase or sentence. : Her translation is too literal, resulting in unnatural-sounding prose.
(Definition of literal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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