usually refers to written work from Latin litaritura/litteratura writing formed by letters


”Literature has commonly been distinguished from linguistic ephemera, effort being expended to preserve it in script or oral tradition; it has been regarded as a potent tool in the transmission and preservation of cultural values; it has also often been associated with an elite, either conservative or revoutionary, or with an influential and self-esteeming bourgeoisie.”

- The Routledge Dictionary of Literary Terms