Definition of literature in English:

literature

noun

  • 1[mass noun] Written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit:

    ‘a great work of literature’
    • ‘She is on the faculty at Guilford College, where she teaches African American literature and creative writing.’
    • ‘As scholars and teachers of multiethnic literatures of the United States, we are in the business of interpretation.’
    • ‘It is probably no surprise that I was also at that time expanding my scholarship and teaching to include the literatures and cultures of other peoples of color.’
    • ‘Now I know that some will say it is not possible to study so many ethnic literatures and cultures.’
    • ‘We hope that this collection will be an invitation to further scholarship in the intersections between minority literatures and social justice.’
    • ‘I fall back into my old fascination of trying to find the ideal metaphor for the United States, especially as demonstrated in our literatures.’
    • ‘Many scholars consider this novel a modern classic in US literatures.’
    • ‘As the hyphens and slash marks indicate, these emergent literatures do not fit under a single rubric.’
    • ‘The seminar's topic was Renaissance utopian literatures, focusing on More's Utopia.’
    • ‘We traveled in the same circles and went to the same panels, and talked of ethnic literatures at every opportunity.’
    • ‘In the late 1970s the frontiers were radically expanded, bringing marginalized literatures into university courses.’
    • ‘When not writing, he now teaches literature at a private university in Milan.’
    • ‘However, the discussion is limited by the author's lack of detailed first-hand knowledge of the individual languages and literatures of the peoples about whom she is writing.’
    • ‘Notably, Hamilton was one of the most influential figures in children's literature in the 20th century.’
    • ‘Since I had studied English literature at university, many of my friends wondered why I chose Belgium.’
    • ‘These deaths are real deaths, and they pile up in ways that define our histories and literatures and social sciences.’
    • ‘A new study suggests that classical English literature is essential to the teaching of English.’
    • ‘It is a vital contribution to the growing critical corpus on literatures of the Americas.’
    • ‘The last and the best section is that of Modern Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and Alexandrian Greek and Persian literatures.’
    • ‘In fact, very little serious work is being done now in the area of comparing national or regional literatures.’
    written works, writings, literary texts, compositions, letters, belles-lettres
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Books and writings published on a particular subject:
      ‘the literature on environmental epidemiology’
      • ‘And contrary to some assertions, they have published peer-reviewed literature on the subject.’
      • ‘Perhaps there is no prior research or scholarly literature on the subject, but it would seem pretty easy to construct similar experiments without a racial subtext.’
      • ‘One would have to be immersed in the scholarly literature on this subject to judge whether these chapters would pass muster as an academic analysis.’
      • ‘The first step in the method is to summarize the relevant scientific literature to determine what is worth knowing.’
      • ‘Are you trying to stay abreast of new literature on a specific topic?’
      • ‘This article reviews the published literature on the extent and effectiveness of substance abuse treatment programming for women.’
      • ‘Extensive medical literature describes how vascular function differs in older and younger individuals.’
      • ‘All of these writers' works, and a host of others, create the body of literatures that is the focus of contemporary critical studies of gender.’
      • ‘In fact, the basic science literature reports that even mild stretching can cause muscle damage at the cellular level.’
      • ‘It is certainly true that the published literature on the subject is well surveyed.’
      • ‘The focus is on explanation and not merely description, and this is what distinguishes this book from the now vast literature on this subject.’
      • ‘Published medical literature was systematically searched via computerized databases.’
      • ‘There are many recorded conversations and references are made to other existing literature on the subject.’
      • ‘In contrast, there is relatively little published literature on effects of deer browsing on prairie plants.’
      • ‘There is almost no published literature on the subject, and we are largely guided by our own opinions, experience, and - in some cases - prejudice.’
      • ‘When searching the literature on your topic, please consult several sources of evidence-based reviews.’
      • ‘By necessity, this is a primer, the barest outline drawn from a vast and growing literature on the subject.’
      • ‘Third, the clinical psychology research literature has failed to incorporate cultural factors.’
      • ‘I begin by reviewing the relevant empirical literature and then outlining the philosophical principles modeled in the present research.’
      publications, published writings, texts, reports, studies, relevant works
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Leaflets and other printed matter used to advertise products or give advice:
      ‘advertising and promotional literature’
      • ‘Surveying the literature written for patients makes it easy to understand why someone like me could have missed this.’
      • ‘For more straightforward cash rewards, consumers will have to read the small print of product literature to ensure they have the card that best suits their spending needs.’
      • ‘They will be visiting problem areas to hand out literature and advice to people on how best to secure their vehicles, and offering support to victims.’
      • ‘The campaign included rebranding the company and producing new corporate literature, advertising and media, website and promotional items.’
      • ‘Safe sex literature and products could be used as evidence.’
      • ‘The lack of economic resources also prevents the community from producing any printed literature that might bind its members together.’
      • ‘The receivers are understood to have been approached by a potential buyer for the company, which prints and binds literature for the direct mail market, but staff remain pessimistic.’
      • ‘The region's promotional literature will be upgraded including the production of language editions, which will be used on all promotions.’
      • ‘In addition, winners will be able to display the True Taste Awards branding on their products and literature, providing an instant standard of recognition and quality for the consumer.’
      • ‘New literature is also printed on recycled paper.’
      • ‘The second major development was promotional literature, the advertising pamphlets issued by the growing number of national food and kitchen equipment companies.’
      • ‘‘We send a great deal of product information out through literature,’ he says.’
      • ‘The campaign included a series of newspaper articles and the distribution of conspiracy-quality leaflets and literature.’
      • ‘No need to read voluminous campaign literature, or pore through printed recommendations.’
      • ‘Market research, competitive information, product literature, and a list of pertinent Web sites are good choices.’
      • ‘He must get the public to take note of these brand-building messages, whether they be contained in website pages, printed literature or elsewhere.’
      • ‘She instead recommends applicants looking at the free advice provided in admissions literature or on University websites.’
      • ‘This vocal minority has pointed to the literature provided early on to Australian citizens, as well as the far more detailed official websites available in the USA.’
      • ‘The cost of newspaper advertising and canvassing literature before the starting-gun is fired is enormous.’
      • ‘Keep product literature in case of future questions and complete warranty cards.’
      printed matter, brochures, leaflets, pamphlets, circulars, flyers, handouts, handbills, mailshots, bulletins, documentation, publicity, blurb, notices, information, data, facts
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘knowledge of books’): via French from Latin litteratura, from littera (see letter).

Pronunciation

literature

/ˈlɪt(ə)rətʃə/