- adherence to the exact letter or the literal sense, as in translation or interpretation: to interpret the law with uncompromising literalism.
- a peculiarity of expression resulting from this: The work is studded with these obtuse literalisms.
- exact representation or portrayal, without idealization, as in art or literature: a literalism more appropriate to journalism than to the novel.
Origin of literalism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for 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
June 1, 2014
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
The literalism of the Panorama has lately been invaded by an effort toward the Ideal.
- the disposition to take words and statements in their literal sense
- literal or realistic portrayal in art or literature
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012