Etymology
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transliteration (n.)
"rendering of the letters of one alphabet by the equivalents of another," 1835, from trans- "across" (see trans-) + Latin littera (also litera) "letter, character" (see letter (n.)).
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transliterate (v.)
"to write a word in the characters of another alphabet," 1849, from trans- "across" + Latin littera (also litera) "letter, character" (see letter (n.)). Related: Transliterated; transliterating.
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capital letter (n.)
late 14c.; see capital (adj.). So called because it is at the "head" of a sentence or word.
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literary (adj.)
1640s, "pertaining to alphabet letters," from French littéraire, from Latin literarius/litterarius "belonging to letters or learning," from littera/litera "alphabetic letter" (see letter (n.1)). Meaning "pertaining to literature" is attested from 1737. Related: Literariness.
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literate (adj.)
"educated, instructed, having knowledge of letters," early 15c., from Latin literatus/litteratus "educated, learned, who knows the letters;" formed in imitation of Greek grammatikos from Latin littera/litera "alphabetic letter" (see letter (n.1)). By late 18c. especially "acquainted with literature." As a noun, "one who can read and write," 1894.
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litterateur (n.)
"a literary man, one whose profession is literature," 1806, from French littérateur, from Latin litterator "a grammarian, philologist," from littera "letter; writing" (see letter (n.1)). Sometimes Englished as literator (1630s), but often with a deprecatory sense. O.W. Holmes used the French fem. form littératrice (1857).
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alliteration (n.)

1650s, "repetition of the same sound or letter at the beginning of words in close succession," from Modern Latin alliterationem (nominative alliteratio), noun of action from past-participle stem of alliterare "to begin with the same letter," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.1)). Related: Alliterational.

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belles-lettres (n.)
"elegant literature, literature as fine art," 1710, French, literally "fine letters," from belles, plural of belle, fem. of beau "fine, beautiful" (see beau) + lettres, plural of lettre "letter" (see letter (n.)). The literary equivalent of beaux arts; its boundaries never have been exact, and it is "now generally applied (when used at all) to the lighter branches of literature, or the æsthetics of literary study" [OED].
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obliterate (v.)

"blot out, cause to disappear, remove all traces of, wipe out," c. 1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out (a writing), erase, efface," figuratively "cause to be forgotten, blot out a remembrance," from ob "against" (see ob-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.)). The verb was abstracted from the phrase literas scribere "write across letters, strike out letters." Related: Obliterated; obliterating.

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literal (adj.)
late 14c., "taking words in their natural meaning" (originally in reference to Scripture and opposed to mystical or allegorical), from Late Latin literalis/litteralis "of or belonging to letters or writing," from Latin litera/littera "letter, alphabetic sign; literature, books" (see letter (n.1)). Related: Literalness.

Meaning "of or pertaining to alphabetic letters" is from late 14c. Meaning "concerned with letters and learning, learned, scholarly" is from mid-15c. Sense of "verbally exact, according to the letter of verbal expression" is attested from 1590s, as is application to the primary sense of a word or passage. Literal-minded is attested from 1791.
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