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literature


  3  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Literature  \Lit"er*a*ture\,  n.  [F.  litt['e]rature,  L. 
  litteratura  literatura,  learning,  grammar,  writing,  fr 
  littera,  litera,  letter.  See  {Letter}.] 
  1.  Learning;  acquaintance  with  letters  or  books. 
 
  2.  The  collective  body  of  literary  productions,  embracing  the 
  entire  results  of  knowledge  and  fancy  preserved  in 
  writing;  also  the  whole  body  of  literary  productions  or 
  writings  upon  a  given  subject,  or  in  reference  to  a 
  particular  science  or  branch  of  knowledge,  or  of  a  given 
  country  or  period;  as  the  literature  of  Biblical 
  criticism;  the  literature  of  chemistry. 
 
  3.  The  class  of  writings  distinguished  for  beauty  of  style  or 
  expression,  as  poetry,  essays,  or  history,  in  distinction 
  from  scientific  treatises  and  works  which  contain  positive 
  knowledge;  belles-lettres. 
 
  4.  The  occupation,  profession,  or  business  of  doing  literary 
  work  --Lamp. 
 
  Syn:  Science;  learning;  erudition;  belles-lettres. 
 
  Usage:  See  {Science}.  --  {Literature},  {Learning}, 
  {Erudition}.  Literature,  in  its  widest  sense  embraces 
  all  compositions  in  writing  or  print  which  preserve 
  the  results  of  observation,  thought,  or  fancy;  but 
  those  upon  the  positive  sciences  (mathematics,  etc.) 
  are  usually  excluded.  It  is  often  confined,  however, 
  to  belles-lettres,  or  works  of  taste  and  sentiment,  as 
  poetry,  eloquence,  history,  etc.,  excluding  abstract 
  discussions  and  mere  erudition.  A  man  of  literature 
  (in  this  narrowest  sense)  is  one  who  is  versed  in 
  belles-lettres;  a  man  of  learning  excels  in  what  is 
  taught  in  the  schools,  and  has  a  wide  extent  of 
  knowledge,  especially,  in  respect  to  the  past;  a  man 
  of  erudition  is  one  who  is  skilled  in  the  more 
  recondite  branches  of  learned  inquiry. 
 
  The  origin  of  all  positive  science  and 
  philosophy,  as  well  as  of  all  literature  and 
  art,  in  the  forms  in  which  they  exist  in 
  civilized  Europe,  must  be  traced  to  the  Greeks. 
  --Sir  G. 
  Lewis. 
 
  Learning  thy  talent  is  but  mine  is  sense 
  --Prior. 
 
  Some  gentlemen,  abounding  in  their  university 
  erudition,  fill  their  sermons  with  philosophical 
  terms.  --Swift. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  literature 
  n  1:  creative  writing  of  recognized  artistic  value 
  2:  the  humanistic  study  of  a  body  of  literature;  "he  took  a 
  course  in  French  literature" 
  3:  published  writings  in  a  particular  style  on  a  particular 
  subject;  "the  technical  literature";  "one  aspect  of 
  Waterloo  has  not  yet  been  treated  in  the  literature" 
  4:  the  profession  or  art  of  a  writer;  "her  place  in  literature 
  is  secure" 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  literature 
 
  The  literature.  Computer-science  journals  and  other 
  publications,  vaguely  gestured  at  to  answer  a  question  that 
  the  speaker  believes  is  trivial.  Thus  one  might  answer  an 
  annoying  question  by  saying  "It's  in  the  literature."  Oppose 
  {Knuth},  which  has  no  connotation  of  triviality. 
 
  (1994-11-04) 
 
 




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