Definition of “literally” - English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

“literally” in British English

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uk /ˈlɪt.ər.əl.i/ us /ˈlɪt̬.ɚ.əl.i/

B2 using the real or original meaning of a word or phrase:

They were responsible for literally millions of deaths.
We live literally just round the corner from her.

If you translate literally, you translate each word in a text separately, without looking at how the words are used together in a phrase or sentence:

Translations that are done too literally often don't flow well or don't sound natural.

informal used to emphasize what you are saying:

He missed that kick literally by miles.
I was literally bowled over by the news.

informal simply or just:

Then you literally cut the sausage down the middle.

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

“literally” in American English

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us /ˈlɪt̬·ər·ə·li/

[ not gradable ] used for emphasizing how large or great an amount is:

There were literally hundreds of pages to read in the contract.

[ not gradable ] Literally is also used to emphasize a statement and suggest that it is surprising:

I literally (= really) had no idea you and Sophie were coming.

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