Origin of literature
Examples from the Web for literature
The religion shaped all facets of life: art, medicine, literature, and even dynastic politics.The Buddhist Business of Poaching Animals for Good Karma|Brendon Hong|December 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Speaking of the literature you love, the Bloomsbury writers crop up in your collection repeatedly.Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination|Mindy Farabee|December 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Literature in the 14th century, Strohm points out, was an intimate, interactive affair.A Year In The Life of The Canterbury Tales’ Storied Beginnings|Wendy Smith|December 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Fruitcake quickly acclimated to its American home, and even plays a supporting role in American literature.One Cake to Rule Them All: How Stollen Stole Our Hearts|Molly Hannon|December 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Celebrities flocked to this glamorous and buzzy temple of literature and culture.The Bookstore That Bewitched Mick Jagger, John Lennon, and Greta Garbo|Felice Picano|December 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He was an elector, and had a taste for music and literature.Dealings With The Dead|A Sexton of the Old School
But he was not on that account forced to confine himself to literature.Stories of Authors, British and American|Edwin Watts Chubb
The material used was flannel, and such interments are frequently mentioned in the literature of the time.A History of Mourning|Richard Davey
The historians of literature scarcely deign to mention a few names, or the editors of selections to extract a few sonnets.
But more important to the historian of literature even than the development of qualities is the evolution of types.
British Dictionary definitions for literature
Word Origin for literature
Word Origin and History for literature
late 14c., from Latin literatura/litteratura "learning, a writing, grammar," originally "writing formed with letters," from litera/littera "letter" (see letter (n.1)). Originally "book learning" (it replaced Old English boccræft), the meaning "literary production or work" is first attested 1779 in Johnson's "Lives of the English Poets" (he didn't include this definition in his dictionary, however); that of "body of writings from a period or people" is first recorded 1812.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree. [Ezra Pound, "ABC of Reading"]
Meaning "the whole of the writing on a particular subject" is from 1860; sense of "printed matter generally" is from 1895. The Latin word also is the source of Spanish literatura, Italian letteratura, German Literatur.