literally


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lit·er·al·ly

 (lĭt′ər-ə-lē)
adv.
1. In a literal manner; word for word: translated the Greek passage literally.
2. In a literal or strict sense: Don't take my remarks literally.
3. Usage Problem
a. Really; actually: "There are people in the world who literally do not know how to boil water" (Craig Claiborne).
b. Used as an intensive before a figurative expression.
Usage Note: For more than a hundred years, critics have remarked on the incoherence of using literally in a way that suggests the exact opposite of its primary sense of "in a manner that accords with the literal sense of the words." In 1926, for example, H.W. Fowler deplored the example "The 300,000 Unionists ... will be literally thrown to the wolves." The practice reflects a tendency to use certain adverbs, like completely and unbelievably, as general intensifiers, without calling to mind the primary sense of the adjective from which the adverb is made. In this regard, literally is very similar to the adverb really, whose intensive use often has nothing to do with what is "real," as in They really dropped the ball in marketing that product. · With regard to literally, the Usage Panel supports the traditional view. In our 2004 survey, only 23 percent of the Panel accepted the following sentence, in which literally undercuts the sentence's central metaphor: The situation was especially grim in England where industrialism was literally swallowing the country's youth. The Panel mustered more enthusiasm for the use of literally with a dead metaphor, which functions as a set phrase and evokes no image for most people. Some 37 percent accepted He was literally out of his mind with worry. But when there is no metaphor at all, a substantial majority of the Panel was willing to allow literally to be used as an intensifier; 66 percent accepted the sentence They had literally no help from the government on the project.

literally

(ˈlɪtərəlɪ)
adv
1. in a literal manner
2. (intensifier): there were literally thousands of people.
Usage: The use of literally as an intensifier is common, esp in informal contexts. In some cases, it provides emphasis without adding to the meaning: the house was literally only five minutes walk away. Often, however, its use results in absurdity: the news was literally an eye-opener to me. It is therefore best avoided in formal contexts

lit•er•al•ly

(ˈlɪt ər ə li)

adv.
1. in the literal or strict sense: What does the word mean literally?
2. in a literal manner; word for word: to translate literally.
3. actually: The city was literally destroyed.
4. in effect; in substance; virtually.
[1525–35]
usage: Since the early 20th century, literally has been widely used as an intensifier meaning “in effect, virtually”: The senator was literally buried alive in the June primaries. This use, common in many styles of speech and writing, is often criticized for being the opposite of the original meaning of literal. In such cases, nothing is lost by omitting literally.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.literally - in a literal sense; "literally translated"; "he said so literally"
figuratively - in a figurative sense; "figuratively speaking,..."
2.literally - (intensifier before a figurative expression) without exaggeration; "our eyes were literally pinned to TV during the Gulf War"
intensifier, intensive - a modifier that has little meaning except to intensify the meaning it modifies; "`up' in `finished up' is an intensifier"; "`honestly' in `I honestly don't know' is an intensifier"

literally

adverb exactly, really, closely, actually, simply, plainly, truly, precisely, strictly, faithfully, to the letter, verbatim, word for word The word 'volk' translates literally as 'folk'.
Translations
حَرْفِيَّاًحَرْفِيّاً
doslova
bogstavelig taltbogstaveligt
kirjaimellisestisananmukaisesti
doslovce
értelmében: a szó szoros értelmében
bókstaflega
文字どおりに
글자 그대로
bokstavligen
อย่างแท้จริง
theo nghĩa đen

literally

[ˈlɪtərəlɪ] ADV
1. (= actually) → literalmente
I was quite literally living on bread and waterestaba literalmente viviendo a base de pan y agua
he's crazy, I mean literallyestá loco, y lo digo en el verdadero sentido de la palabra
they were quite literally in fear of their livestemían realmente por sus vidas
to take sth literallytomarse algo al pie de la letra
she literally flew out the door (as intensifier) (= almost) → salió casi volando por la puerta
2. (= word for word) [translate, mean] → literalmente, palabra por palabra

literally

[ˈlɪtərəli] adv
(= absolutely) → littéralement
It was literally impossible to find a seat → Il était littéralement impossible de trouver une place., Il était vraiment impossible de trouver une place.
The views are literally breath-taking → Les panoramas sont littéralement à vous couper le souffle.
(= without exaggeration) → littéralement
[translate, understand] → littéralement
to translate literally [translator] → traduire littéralement; [word, phrase] → se traduire littéralement
The word "volk" translates literally as "folk" → Le mot "volk" se traduit littéralement par "folk".
to take sth literally [+ word, phrase] → prendre qch au sens littéral; [+ statement, story, instructions] → prendre qch à la lettre
a man who took his instructions literally → un homme qui prenait ses instructions à la lettre
to be taken literally → être pris(e) à la lettre

literally

adv
(= word for word, exactly)(wort)wörtlich; to take somebody/something literallyjdn/etw wörtlich nehmen; to be literally truewortwörtlich stimmen
(= really)buchstäblich, wirklich; the best meal I’ve ever had, literallywirklich das Beste, was ich je gegessen habe; it was literally impossible to work therees war wirklich or einfach unmöglich, dort zu arbeiten; I was literally shaking with fearich zitterte regelrecht vor Angst; he was quite literally a gianter war im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes ein Riese

literally

[ˈlɪtrəlɪ] adv (gen) → letteralmente; (interpret) → alla lettera
it was literally impossible to work there → era letteralmente impossibile lavorare

literal

(ˈlitərəl) adjective
1. following the exact meaning with no exaggeration. the literal truth.
2. understanding the meaning by taking one word at a time. a literal translation.
ˈliteralness noun
ˈliterally adverb
We had literally a minute to catch the train.

literally

حَرْفِيّاً doslova bogstavelig talt wörtlich κυριολεκτικά literalmente kirjaimellisesti littéralement doslovce letteralmente 文字どおりに 글자 그대로 letterlijk bokstavelig dosłownie literalmente буквально bokstavligen อย่างแท้จริง harfi harfine theo nghĩa đen 确实地
References in classic literature ?
The land literally flowed with milk and honey on such occasions, for the lads were not required to sit at table, but allowed to partake of refreshment as they liked--freedom being the sauce best beloved by the boyish soul.
I couldn't help thinking that the years when Lena literally hadn't enough clothes to cover herself might have something to do with her untiring interest in dressing the human figure.
I know for a fact, that his race horses literally ran away with the prettiest bit of Kentucky farming land I ever laid eyes upon.
Exerting his renovated powers to their utmost, he was yet filling the arches of the cave with long and full tones, when a yell burst into the air without, that instantly stilled his pious strains, choking his voice suddenly, as though his heart had literally bounded into the passage of his throat.
Being a very tall one, and of luxuriant growth, it had been propped up against the side of the house, and was literally covered with a rare and very beautiful species of white rose.
I scarce know how to put my story into words that shall be a credible picture of my state of mind; but I was in these days literally able to find a joy in the extraordinary flight of heroism the occasion demanded of me.
It was the idea also, that this same spermaceti was that quickening humor of the Greenland Whale which the first syllable of the word literally expresses.
She has not taken a drop, but every one else there is literally burning alcohol, as the lamps are burning oil; some of the men who are sound asleep in their chairs or on the floor are reeking of it so that you cannot go near them.
It was literally prayer offered with strong crying and tears.
And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling in wealth.
This command she interpreted somewhat too literally perhaps, because she contrived in a space of two minutes an extremely pious style of hairdressing, fully as effective if not as startling as the first.
I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood.