Dictionaries add informal definition of ‘literally’

Merriam-Webster, Macmillan and Google all say it’s all right to use “literally” to add emphasis to a statement or describe something figuratively. What do you think?

If you ever want to rile up a communicator, use the word “literally” incorrectly.

The correct definition of “literally” is to describe something in a literal sense and without exaggeration. But many people often use the word to do the opposite—add emphasis or describe something in a way that can’t possibly be true. For example:

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