Is there a place on the Interent where we can find words with meaning that marked as literary in the Oxford Dictionaries (Lexico) like these:


literary: because; since: he felt guilty, for he knew that he bore a share of responsibility for Fanny's death.


literary: grotesque or bizarre.


literary: a bird's wing as used in flight.


archaic or literary: burning; glowing

I tried googling it but only found list of terms like "oxymoron" that describe different figure of speech..

  • Get a Latin dictionary. Any word you find in both a Latin and an English dictionary has "literary meaning" in English. Oct 16, 2013 at 18:06
  • @JohnLawler The word Latin I found in a Latin dictionary doesn't have "literary meaning". Oct 18, 2013 at 16:11
  • You picked the wrong word. Try again. Apparently you are the only one who knows what "literary meaning" is, so you'll have to do all the finding yourself, looks like. Oct 18, 2013 at 16:16
  • The Latin connection could be incidental (even if essential) but a stylistic class should have been listed out in its entirety sometime somewhere by someone.
    – Kris
    Oct 22, 2013 at 7:25
  • 1
    One straight off possibility is to ask OED for such a list -- that will be an authentic list to boot.
    – Kris
    Oct 22, 2013 at 7:28

2 Answers 2


Depending on how much time/energy/money/programming you are willing to throw at this problem, the Oxford English Dictionary provides an API for querying the dictionary; you could just ask for words with definitions with the "literary" tag.

  • Cool! Never heard about that before. Apr 1, 2014 at 1:36
  • +1 Great idea indeed. Any idea what that 'category' (field-name) is called (by OED at least)? Usage?
    – Kris
    Apr 1, 2014 at 5:39
  • 1
    @Kris I'm no longer convinced that this is a possible solution; the search API is very limited and not exceptionally well-documented, and if you have access to the OED online you can just use their advanced search from the website to achieve essentially the same thing
    – colinro
    Apr 9, 2014 at 7:50

Try the following lists. Number 1 meets your specifications, although it is by no means comprehensive, while the rest are lists of archaic words, which my New American Oxford Dictionary sometimes labels as literary as well. Number 5 is the most comprehensive of the lists.

  1. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/literary-words
  2. http://phrontistery.info/archaic.html
  3. https://www.vocabulary.com/lists/13150
  4. https://www.vocabulary.com/lists/18058
  5. http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/words.html

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.