1. Of, relating to, or dealing with literature: literary criticism.
2. Of or relating to writers or the profession of literature: literary circles.
3. Versed in or fond of literature or learning.
a. Appropriate to literature rather than everyday speech or writing.
b. Bookish; pedantic.
[Latin litterārius, of reading and writing, from littera, lītera, letter; see LETTER.]
lit′er·ari·ly (-rârə-lē) adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.