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Relating to something situated on or at the side: In the mine, the engineers dug a lateral shaft to explore for silver ore.
Referring to the most typical, most common, and most basic meaning of terms or expressions: While writing an essay for school, Nikki tried hard to maintain a literal
description of the events without exaggerating.
Luis said he was using the word in its literal or actual sense.
The professor encouraged lateral thinking in the course on creative problem solving; however, there was one jokester who tried to be literal and changed his seat, moving to the side of the room.
; more literal, most literal
Relating to something that is exactly as stated, read or understood without any additional explanations: Samuel was told that his investment in the bank was a literal
account that guarantied specific profits for each person.
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literal, littoral, littoral
1. Referring to the accordance with the exact or primary meaning of a word or words: Debora wrote her essay, paying careful attention to the literal intent of the terms she used.
2. Concerning the preciseness, exactness, or strict closeness of rewording a text or speech; verbatim: Ron presented a literal translation of the doctor's prognosis.
Pertaining to the shore of a lake, ocean, or sea: Marcus referred to the littoral biogeographic zone on the coast.
(LIT uhr uhl) (noun
The region or zone between the limits of high and low tides of a shore: The sandpiper tiptoed across the littoral looking for things to eat.
Standing on the littoral of the lake, the speaker read a literal translation of the famous poem about a lady and a lake.