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In the OED, are definitions that don't explictly indicate it is figurative use always with literal examples only, or can they be figurative?

In the OED, are definitions that don't explicitly indicate it is figurative use always with literal examples only, or can they be figurative?

My recent answer has caused quite some confusion among high rep users, apparently because they think that my answer makes no sense, and the OED is listing figurative examples without saying so.

e.g.

"speak for"

  1. To indicate; to betoken.

    1832 Philol. Museum I. 335 The great mass of evidence that speaks for an intimate affinity between the Pelasgians and the Hellenes.

is this literal use?