literary

[ lit-uh-rer-ee ]
/ ˈlɪt əˌrɛr i /

adjective

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.

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Origin of literary

1640–50; < Latin līterārius, litterārius of reading and writing. See letter1, -ary

usage note for literary

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.

OTHER WORDS FROM literary

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for nonliterary (1 of 2)

nonliterary
/ (nɒnˈlɪtərərɪ, -ˈlɪtrərɪ) /

adjective

not of, relating to, concerned with, or characteristic of literature or scholarly writing

British Dictionary definitions for nonliterary (2 of 2)

literary
/ (ˈlɪtərərɪ, ˈlɪtrərɪ) /

adjective

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

Derived forms of literary

literarily, adverbliterariness, noun

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