Meaning of “literature” in the English Dictionary

"literature" in British English

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literaturenoun [ U ]

uk /ˈlɪt.rə.tʃər/ us /ˈlɪt̬.ɚ.ə.tʃɚ/

literature noun [ U ] (WRITING)

B1 written artistic works, especially those with a high and lasting artistic value:

classical/modern literature
"Wuthering Heights" is a classic of English literature.

More examples

  • He's very knowledgeable about German literature.
  • I had a brilliant English teacher who fired me with enthusiasm for literature at an early age.
  • She's studying for an MA in French literature.
  • Classic literature never goes out of print.
  • The festival is to encompass everything from music, theatre and ballet to literature, cinema and the visual arts.

literature noun [ U ] (SPECIALIST TEXTS)

all the information relating to a subject, especially information written by experts:

It's important to keep up-to-date with the literature in your field.
There is very little literature on the disease.

(Definition of “literature” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"literature" in American English

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literaturenoun [ U ]

us /ˈlɪt̬·ər·ə·tʃər, -ˌtʃʊr/

literature noun [ U ] (WRITING)

writing that has lasting value as art:

The course in English literature covers Shakespeare’s plays.

literature noun [ U ] (INFORMATION)

all the information written about a subject:

Literature is also printed material published by a company that informs people about its products or services:

They handed out literature at the meeting about their new software.

(Definition of “literature” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"literature" in Business English

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literaturenoun [ U ]

uk /ˈlɪtrətʃər/ us

all the information relating to a subject, especially information written by specialists:

It's important to keep up-to-date with the literature in your field.

printed material published by a company, etc. to encourage people to buy its products or services:

sales/promotional literature
literature on/about sth Could you send me your literature on car insurance policies, please?

(Definition of “literature” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)