r) KEY NOUN:
- 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 littertra
, from littertus
; see literate