The body of written works of a language, period, or culture.
Imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value: “Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity” (Rebecca West).
The art or occupation of a literary writer.
The body of written work produced by scholars or researchers in a given field: medical literature.
Printed material: collected all the available literature on the subject.
Music. All the compositions of a certain kind or for a specific instrument or ensemble: the symphonic literature.
[Middle English, book learning, from Old French litterature, from Latin litterātūra, from litterātus, lettered. See literate.]
a body of written works related by subject‐matter (e.g. the literature of computing), by language or place of origin (e.g. Russian literature), or by prevailing cultural standards of merit. In this last sense, ‘literature’ is taken to include oral, dramatic, and broadcast compositions that may not have been published in written form but which have been (or deserve to be) preserved.
Literature literally "acquaintance with letters" (from Latin littera letter) as in the first sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary, or works of art, which in Western culture are mainly prose, both fiction and non-fiction, drama and poetry. In much of, if not all, the world texts can be oral as well and include such genres as epic, legend, myth, ballad, plus other forms of oral poetry, and folktale.