Meaning of “literal” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"literal" in British English

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uk /ˈlɪt.ər.əl/ us /ˈlɪt̬.ɚ.əl/

C2 The literal meaning of a word is its original, basic meaning:

The literal meaning of "television" is "seeing from a distance".
You will need to show more than just a literal understanding of the text.

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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"literal" in American English

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us /ˈlɪt̬·ər·əl/

having exactly the same meaning as the basic or original meaning of a word or expression:

a literal interpretation of the Constitution

A literal translation of a phrase in another language gives the meaning of each separate word.

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