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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 ?
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.
It appeared to be a slippery slope to unbelief, and the more the literalists defended the Bible against evolution, the louder they proclaimed its literal inerrancy.
Far from being textual literalists, their illiberalism tends toward the vague, populist variety.
The mind set of Islamists, literalists and their sympathisers is rooted in the 6th century.
Vishanoff makes an insightful connection between the Zahirls, who are the paradigmatic literalists of Islamic intellectual history, and Mdtazili theologians from Basra, showing that both operated on the assumption that the message of revelation is clear in and of itself and thus that complex hermeneutical techniques, especially extralingual extensions of the text, constitute unnecessary and unacceptable impositions on the divine message.
So after acknowledging the reality that, as far as I know, there are no one-handed biblical literalists walking around because of this verse, I asked people what they believed about hell.
Professor Paul Braterman said: "We are seeing a concerted, co-ordinated attempt by creationist, fringe Christian Biblical literalists to infiltrate their extreme views into ordinary education.
Nonetheless, I have no doubt that biblical literalists will struggle with the author's use of scriptures.
In modern times, we sometimes tend to be literalists and sentimentalists.
to the sea floor, literalists who round a solution.
In it, he is quoted as saying, "If people believe they have to be literalists to be Christian hut cannot bring themselves be so, they simply drop out,"
She continues the work of complicating the standard picture of Alexandrian allegorists and Antiochene literalists by showing that exegetes of both schools used the agonistic paradigm.