pertaining to or of the nature of books and writings, especially those classed as literature: literary history.
pertaining to authorship: literary style.
versed in or acquainted with literature; well-read.
engaged in or having the profession of literature or writing: a literary man.
characterized by an excessive or affected display of learning; stilted; pedantic.
preferring books to actual experience; bookish.
13 Essential Literary TermsRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Literary Baby NamesRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
- literary agent,
- literary executor,
Origin of literary
lit·er·ar·i·ly, adverblit·er·ar·i·ness, nounnon·lit·er·ar·i·ly, adverbnon·lit·er·ar·i·ly·ness, noun
non·lit·er·ar·i·ness, nounnon·lit·er·ar·y, adjectiveo·ver·lit·er·ar·i·ly, adverbo·ver·lit·er·ar·i·ness, nouno·ver·lit·er·ar·y, adjectivepre·lit·er·ar·y, adjectivepseu·do·lit·er·ar·y, adjectivequa·si-lit·er·ar·y, adjectiveun·lit·er·ar·y, adjective
In this dictionary, the label Literary is assigned to an entry term or definition that is used rarely in contemporary speech or writing except to create a literary, poetic, or evocative effect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
of, relating to, concerned with, or characteristic of literature or scholarly writinga literary discussion; a literary style
versed in or knowledgeable about literaturea literary man
(of a word) formal; not colloquial
Word Origin for literary
C17: from Latin litterārius concerning reading and writing. See letter
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
1640s, "pertaining to alphabet letters," from French littéraire, from Latin literarius/litterarius "belonging to letters or learning," from littera/litera "letter" (see letter (n.1)). Meaning "pertaining to literature" is attested from 1737.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper