Home > Confused Words > L > Literally vs Figuratively

Literally vs Figuratively
Difference, Examples & Quiz

What's the difference? Which one is correct?


Definition: Literally means exactly what is stated or expressed.

Usage: It is used to emphasize the truth or accuracy of a statement.

Example sentences:
  • 1. I literally ran all the way to the store.
  • 2. The room was literally freezing.
  • 3. He literally jumped for joy.

Definition: Figuratively means in a metaphorical or symbolic sense.

Usage: It is used to describe something that is not meant to be taken literally.

Example sentences:
  • 1. Her smile lit up the room, figuratively speaking.
  • 2. He broke her heart, figuratively speaking.
  • 3. The book opened a figurative door to a new world.

The word 'literally' is used to emphasize that something is true in a strict sense, while 'figuratively' is used to express something in a metaphorical or symbolic sense.

Quizzes about "Literally" vs "Figuratively "

Literally vs Figuratively : 5 Quizzes

1. What does the word 'literally' mean?

2. What does the word 'figuratively' mean?

3. Which word means 'in a strict or exact sense'?

4. Which word means 'used metaphorically or symbolically'?

5. Which word means 'both in a strict or exact sense and used metaphorically or symbolically'?


  • What does 'literally' mean?

    Literally means exactly as stated or described, without metaphor or exaggeration.

  • What does 'figuratively' mean?

    Figuratively means in a metaphorical or symbolic sense, not literally.

  • Can 'literally' be used for emphasis?

    Yes, 'literally' can be used for emphasis, even when not meant in a literal sense.

  • What are some examples of using 'figuratively'?

    Some examples of using 'figuratively' include 'My heart skipped a beat' or 'He's a snake in the grass.'

  • Is 'literally' often misused?

    Yes, 'literally' is often misused to mean 'figuratively' or for emphasis.