(redirected from Literalists)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


1. Adherence to the explicit sense of a given text or doctrine.
2. Literal portrayal; realism.

lit′er·al·ist n.
lit′er·al·is′tic adj.


1. the disposition to take words and statements in their literal sense
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) literal or realistic portrayal in art or literature
3. (Art Terms) literal or realistic portrayal in art or literature
ˈliteralist n
ˌliteralˈistic adj
ˌliteralˈistically adv


(ˈlɪt ər əˌlɪz əm)

1. adherence to the exact letter or to the literal sense, as in translation or interpretation.
2. exact representation or portrayal, without idealization, as in art or literature.
lit′er•al•ist, n.
lit`er•al•is′tic, adj.


1. fundamentalism.
2. Scripturalism. — literalist, n., adj.
See also: Bible
the practice or theory of following the letter or literal sense of something written. — literalist, n.
See also: Alphabet
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.literalism - the doctrine of realistic (literal) portrayal in art or literature
doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought - a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
2.literalism - a disposition to interpret statements in their literal sense
inclination, tendency, disposition - an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others; "he had an inclination to give up too easily"; "a tendency to be too strict"
References in periodicals archive ?
Scholars debate these issues, but it's fair to say what information has emerged is not encouraging for biblical literalists. Virtually no serious scholar believes the Gospels were written by men whose names they bear, nor are they contemporary accounts.
Though they come from extremely different traditions, Pusha and Cardi are plain-spoken literalists. Pusha made his name more than a decade ago as an ice-in-the-veins bard of drug-dealer tales.
There is plenty of thematic meat, too, as readers explore what grave keeping suggests about our own lives, though literalists will struggle to get past the practical problems of keeping a grave fit to live in for many years.
Part 2 examines challenges to the UDHR from religious literalists, from both US religious groups and Muslim groups in other countries.
Literalists Still Outnumber Skeptics Among Certain Groups
Atheists have always mocked the religious literalists, and this continues to be a major part of their repertoire today.
Sookocheff's decision to make the imaginary world reflect the colour and shapes of the workaday objects that inspired it adds to the humour but also shows how Buddy and the rest of us literalists can be transported under the spell of a compelling storyteller.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry told journalists not to use the following terms: Islamists, Islamic groups, jihadists, jihadis, sheikhs, emirs, ulamas, ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State , fundamentalists, puritans, and literalists.
However, as an umbrella for a wide variety of Muslim organisations it was prone to internal divisions and rifts between traditionalists and radical literalists, with moderate reformists under Natsir trying to bridge these differences.
His "Literalist Interlude: Burning Harry Potter," acknowledges the double-edged danger posed by fantasy: in the eyes of biblical literalists its mythic method appears deceptive "because it speaks in the language of the spirit" (163), and at the same time "it gives its readers practice at reading complexly and symbolically" (164).
These Puritan dissenters closely adhered to scripture but were "benign literalists" in that they used a very wide variety of interpretive styles while assuming the scriptures' essential truth.
Far from being textual literalists, their illiberalism tends toward the vague, populist variety.