Etymology
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liter (n.)
unit of capacity in the metric system, 1797, from French litre (1793), from litron, name of an obsolete French measure of capacity for grain (16c.), from Medieval Latin litra, from Greek litra "pound" (unit of weight), which apparently is from the same Sicilian Italic source as Latin libra (see Libra).
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litre (n.)
chiefly British English spelling of liter; for spelling, see -re.
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kiloliter (n.)
1810, from French kilolitre; see kilo- + liter.
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milliliter (n.)

also millilitre, "one-thousandth part of a liter," 1802, from French millilitre; see milli- + liter.

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centiliter (n.)

also centilitre, metric liquid measure, "one hundredth of a liter," 1801, from French centilitre; see centi- + liter.

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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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literalist (n.)
"one who adheres to the exact word," 1640s, from literal + -ist. Related: Literalistic (1850).
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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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literati (n.)
"men and women of letters; the learned class as a whole," 1620s, noun use of Latin literati/litterati, plural of literatus/litteratus "educated, learned" (see literate). The proper singular would be literatus (fem. literata), though Italian literato sometimes is used in English.
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literation (n.)
"representation of sounds by alphabetic letters," 1843, from Latin litera "alphabetic letter" (see letter (n.1)) + -ation.
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