What are some alternative words for literal?

Synonyms for literal
ˈlɪt ər əl

This thesaurus page is about all possible synonyms, equivalent, same meaning and similar words for the term literal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. misprint, erratum, typographical error, typo, literal error, literal(adj)

    a mistake in printed matter resulting from mechanical failures of some kind

    misprint, literal error, erratum, typo, typographical error

    metonymical, analogical, false, metaphorical, synecdochical, inexact, fancy, metaphoric, metonymic, tropical, nonliteral, figurative, extended, synecdochic, poetic

  2. actual, genuine, literal, real(adj)

    being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something

    "her actual motive"; "a literal solitude like a desert"- G.K.Chesterton; "a genuine dilemma"

    true(a), actual, tangible, material, real, veridical, existent, genuine, factual, unfeigned, echt, substantial, real(a)

    metonymic, metaphorical, fancy, synecdochical, metaphoric, synecdochic, analogical, extended, inexact, poetic, false, figurative, nonliteral, tropical, metonymical

  3. literal(adj)

    without interpretation or embellishment

    "a literal depiction of the scene before him"

    actual, genuine, real

    metaphoric, fancy, false, synecdochic, tropical, inexact, metaphorical, synecdochical, metonymical, figurative, analogical, poetic, extended, nonliteral, metonymic

  4. literal(adj)

    limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text

    "a literal translation"

    actual, genuine, real

    synecdochic, metonymical, fancy, poetic, nonliteral, synecdochical, metaphorical, false, inexact, figurative, analogical, extended, tropical, metaphoric, metonymic

  5. literal(adj)

    avoiding embellishment or exaggeration (used for emphasis)

    "it's the literal truth"

    actual, genuine, real

    metonymic, inexact, metaphorical, metaphoric, extended, synecdochical, nonliteral, false, poetic, analogical, figurative, fancy, metonymical, tropical, synecdochic


  1. literal(adjective)

    Exactly as stated; read or understood without additional interpretation; according to the letter or verbal expression; real; not figurative or metaphorical.

    The literal translation is \u201Chands full of bananas\u201D but it means empty-handed.


English Synonyms and Antonyms

  1. literal

    Oral (Latin os, the mouth) signifies uttered through the mouth or (in common phrase) by word of mouth; verbal (Latin verbum, a word) signifies of, pertaining to, or connected with words, especially with words as distinguished from the ideas they convey; vocal (Latin vox, the voice) signifies of or pertaining to the voice, uttered or modulated by the voice, and especially uttered with or sounding with full, resonant voice; literal (Latin litera, a letter) signifies consisting of or expressed by letters, or according to the letter, in the broader sense of the exact meaning or requirement of the words used; what is called "the letter of the law" is its literal meaning without going behind what is expressed by the letters on the page. Thus oral applies to that which is given by spoken words in distinction from that which is written or printed; as, oral tradition; an oral examination. By this rule we should in strictness speak of an oral contract or an oral message, but verbal contract and verbal message, as indicating that which is by spoken rather than by written words, have become so fixed in the language that they can probably never be changed; this usage is also in line with other idioms of the language; as, "I give you my word," "a true man's word is as good as his bond," "by word of mouth," etc. A verbal translation may be oral or written, so that it is word for word; a literal translation follows the construction and idiom of the original as well as the words; a literal translation is more than one that is merely verbal; both verbal and literal are opposed to free. In the same sense, of attending to words only, we speak of verbal criticism, a verbal change. Vocal has primary reference to the human voice; as, vocal sounds, vocal music; vocal may be applied within certain limits to inarticulate sounds given forth by other animals than man; as, the woods were vocal with the songs of birds; oral is never so applied, but is limited to articulate utterance regarded as having a definite meaning; as, an oral statement.

    oral, verbal, vocal

Complete Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms

  1. literal

    exact, grammatical, verbal, close, real, positive, actual, plain

    general, substantial, metaphorical, free, spiritual

Dictionary of English Synonymes

  1. literal(n.)

    as regards letters

  2. literal(n.)

    according to the exact meaning, not figurative

  3. literal(n.)

    following the exact words, not free

PPDB, the paraphrase database

  1. List of paraphrases:

    verbatim, artisanal, word-for-word

How to pronounce literal?

US English

How to say literal in sign language?

  1. literal

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Translations for literal

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"literal." Synonyms.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 14 Nov. 2019. <https://www.synonyms.com/synonym/literal>.

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