literature Definition

written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.

Using literature: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "literature" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She studied English literature at university.

  • Example

    The library has a large collection of classic literature.

  • Example

    He is a professor of American literature.

  • Example

    The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded annually to an author who has produced outstanding work in the field.

literature Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using literature

  • to look for or understand a hidden meaning in what someone says or writes


    When reading literature, it's important to read between the lines to fully appreciate the author's message.

  • to punish someone severely for breaking the law or rules


    The judge decided to throw the book at the defendant, sentencing him to the maximum penalty allowed by law.

  • the power of writing is stronger than the power of violence


    Many great changes in history have been brought about by the written word, proving that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Phrases with literature

  • literary works from around the world, especially those that are considered to be of high quality or importance


    The course covers world literature from ancient times to the present day.

  • children's literature

    books written for children, often including stories, poems, and other forms of writing that are intended to entertain, educate, or inspire young readers


    Many adults still enjoy reading children's literature, even though they are no longer children themselves.

  • literary works that belong to a particular genre, such as science fiction, romance, or mystery


    Some people dismiss genre literature as being lowbrow or formulaic, but others appreciate it for its entertainment value.

Origins of literature

from Latin 'literatura', meaning 'writing formed with letters'


Summary: literature in Brief

The term 'literature' [ˈlɪtərətʃər] refers to written works of superior artistic merit. It encompasses various genres like poetry, fiction, and prose, and includes works from different cultures and time periods. Examples of literature include classic novels, poetry collections, and academic essays. Phrases like 'world literature' and 'children's literature' denote specific categories, while idioms like 'read between the lines' and 'the pen is mightier than the sword' highlight the power of language.

How do native speakers use this expression?