Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to literalist: literal interpretation


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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"I do not like the ideology, the literalist interpretation of Islam," he replied.
at c h "I do not like the ideology, the literalist interpretation of Islam," he replied.
But Browne argued that the constituent statute approach was, in fact, a departure from the way in which the Privy Council had typically interpreted the Act and was, at best, an undertow against the strong literalist current.
In these two recent conflicts, you see similar friction -- between a character actor and a literalist, between people who understand hip hop as high theatre and those whose celebrity is premised on something far less varnished.
She said a blend of two factors, wrong education and the import of a literalist ideology from abroad was mainly responsible for radicalization in Pakistan.
'It's not hysterical and overdramatic, not shallow, pretentious and literalist, like contemporary art,' he added.
Owens, a literalist of high-low, peers eagerly into the bottom of the barrel to see what is usable down there.)
When the Green family--best known as the Hobby Lobby owners who went to the Supreme Court to win their right not to offer abortifacient coverage to employees-decided to open a Museum of the Bible just off the National Mall in Washington, D.C., many observers worried the result would be soaked in an evangelical or even literalist understanding of Christianity.
As Rollin Dillinger, a Deacon at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Wichita, put it, "We're not literalist. We have to understand when that particular [Bible] passage of scripture was written, to whom and by who.
However, within the broad group of Christians, Protestants (including those who generically refer to themselves as "Christian") lean toward the literalist view, while Catholics divide evenly between seeing the Bible as the literal word of God and saying it is a book of stories.
Yet in Britain, growing numbers of educated women--often converts or from less conservative Muslim backgrounds--are actively choosing to embrace Salafism's literalist beliefs and strict regulations, including heavy veiling, wifely obedience, and seclusion from non-related men.
Leon Wieseltier's comment on Daniel Dennett extends to the "new atheism" as a whole: "Like many of the fundamentalists whom he despises, he is a literalist in matters of religion." (1)