Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Writings, such as romance novels and mysteries, that appeal to popular tastes and are often considered inferior in style and content to more artistic literature.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Inferior literature, such as pulp fiction
  • n. A defined portion of an academic literature

Etymologies

sub- +‎ literature (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “Dime-novel Texas; or, the subliterature of the Lone Star State.”

    THE AMERICAN WEST

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