A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1212

Líterally. adv. [from literal.]

  1. According to the primitive import of words; not figuratively.

    That a man and his wife are one flesh, I can comprehend the meaning of; yet literally taken, it is a thing impossible. Swift.

  2. With close adherence to words.

    Endeavouring to turn his Nisus and Euryalus as close as I was able, I have performed that episode too literally; that giving more scope to Mezentius and Lausus, that version, which has more of the majesty of Virgil, has less of his conciseness. Dryden.

    So wild and ungovernable a poet cannot be translated literally; his genius is too strong to bear a chain. Dryden.

Sources: Dryden, John (788) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

Attributes: Adverb (147)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Literally." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 14, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/literally/.

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