Learner's definition of LITERAL
involving the ordinary or usual meaning of a word
I was using the word in its literal sense.
The literal meaning of “know your ropes” is “to know a lot about ropes,” while figuratively it means “to know a lot about how to do something.”
giving the meaning of each individual word
completely true and accurate
[more literal; most literal]
— used to describe someone who understands words and statements only in the most basic and ordinary way and does not have much imagination