- ( RP ) IPA: /ˈlɛt.ə/, X-SAMPA: /"lEt.@/
- ( Australia ) IPA: /ˈlet.ə/, X-SAMPA: /"let.@/
- ( GenAm ) IPA: /ˈlɛt.ɚ/, X-SAMPA: /"lEt.@`/
- Rhymes: -ɛtə( r )
- Hyphenation: let‧ter
- A symbol in an alphabet, bookstave .
- A written message. See also note .
- Literal meaning .
- ( plural: ) literature
- ( US, uncountable ) A size of paper, 8½ in × 11 in ( 215.9 mm × 279.4 mm, US paper sizes rounded to the nearest 5 mm )
- ( Canada, uncountable ) A size of paper, 215 mm × 280 mm
- ( US, scholastic ) Short for varsity letter .
- accountant's letter
- advisory letter
- air letter
- black letter
- capital letter
- chain letter
- comfort letter
- commercial letter of credit
- cover letter
- covering letter
- crank letter
- day letter
- dead letter office
- Dear John letter
- deficiency letter
- domincal letter
- drop letter
- encyclical letter
- fan letter
- form letter
- four-letter/four-letter word
- French letter
- guarantee letter
- investment letter
- irrevocable letter of credit
- letter blindness
- letter bomb
- letter bond
- letter box
- letter carrier
- letter case
- letter missive
- letter of administration
- letter of attorney
- letter of comfort
- letter of comment
- letter of credence
- letter of credit
- letter of guarantee
- letter of indemnity
- letter of intent
- Letter of Jeremiah
- letter of marque
- letter of motivation
- letter of the law
- letter opener
- letter paper
- letter perfect/letter-perfect
- letter security
- letter stock
- letter telegram
- love letter
- market letter
- news letter/news-letter/newsletter
- night letter
- no-action letter
- open letter
- night letter
- poison-pen letter
- red letter
- scarlet letter
- sea letter
- small letter
- swash letter
- to the letter
- transmittal letter
- varsity letter
- Letter ( lĕttẽr ), n. [From Let to permit.] One who lets or permits; one who lets anything for hire.
- Letter, n. [From Let to hinder.] One who retards or hinders. [Archaic.]
- Letter, n. [OE. lettre, F. lettre, OF. letre, fr. L. littera, litera, a letter; pl., an epistle, a writing, literature, fr. linere, litum, to besmear, to spread or rub over; because one of the earliest modes of writing was by graving the characters upon tablets smeared over or covered with wax. Pliny, xiii. 11. See Liniment, and cf. Literal.]
1. A mark or character used as the representative of a sound, or of an articulation of the human organs of speech; a first element of written language.
And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew. Luke xxiii. 38.
2. A written or printed communication; a message expressed in intelligible characters on something adapted to conveyance, as paper, parchment, etc.; an epistle.
The style of letters ought to be free, easy, and natural. Walsh.
3. A writing; an inscription. [Obs.]
None could expound what this letter meant. Chaucer.
4. Verbal expression; literal statement or meaning; exact signification or requirement.
We must observe the letter of the law, without doing violence to the reason of the law and the intention of the lawgiver. Jer. Taylor.
I broke the letter of it to keep the sense. Tennyson.
5. ( Print. ) A single type; type, collectively; a style of type.
Under these buildings . . . was the king's printing house, and that famous letter so much esteemed. Evelyn.
6. pl. Learning; erudition; as, “a man of letters”.
7. pl. A letter; an epistle. [Obs.] Chaucer.
8. ( Teleg. ) A telegram longer than an ordinary message sent at rates lower than the standard message rate in consideration of its being sent and delivered subject to priority in service of regular messages. Such telegrams are called by the Western Union Company day letters, or night letters according to the time of sending, and by The Postal Telegraph Company day lettergrams, or night lettergrams.
Dead letter, Drop letter, etc. See under Dead, Drop, etc. -- Letter book, a book in which copies of letters are kept. -- Letter box, a box for the reception of letters to be mailed or delivered. -- Letter carrier, a person who carries letters; a postman; specif., an officer of the post office who carries letters to the persons to whom they are addressed, and collects letters to be mailed. -- Letter cutter, one who engraves letters or letter punches. -- Letter lock, a lock that can not be opened when fastened, unless certain movable lettered rings or disks forming a part of it are in such a position ( indicated by a particular combination of the letters ) as to permit the bolt to be withdrawn.
A strange lock that opens with AMEN. Beau. & Fl.
-- Letter paper, paper for writing letters on; especially, a size of paper intermediate between note paper and foolscap. See Paper. -- Letter punch, a steel punch with a letter engraved on the end, used in making the matrices for type. -- Letters of administration ( Law ), the instrument by which an administrator or administratrix is authorized to administer the goods and estate of a deceased person. -- Letter of attorney, Letter of credit, etc. See under Attorney, Credit, etc. -- Letter of license, a paper by which creditors extend a debtor's time for paying his debts. -- Letters close or Letters clause ( Eng. Law. ), letters or writs directed to particular persons for particular purposes, and hence closed or sealed on the outside; -- distinguished from letters patent. Burrill. -- Letters of orders ( Eccl. ), a document duly signed and sealed, by which a bishop makes it known that he has regularly ordained a certain person as priest, deacon, etc. -- Letters patent, Letters overt, or Letters open ( Eng.
Law ), a writing executed and sealed, by which power and authority are granted to a person to do some act, or enjoy some right; as, “letters patent under the seal of England”. The common commercial patent is a derivative form of such a right. -- Letter-sheet envelope, a stamped sheet of letter paper issued by the government, prepared to be folded and sealed for transmission by mail without an envelope. -- Letters testamentary ( Law ), an instrument granted by the proper officer to an executor after probate of a will, authorizing him to act as executor. -- Letter writer. One who writes letters. A machine for copying letters. A book giving directions and forms for the writing of letters.
- Letter ( lĕttẽr ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Lettered ( -tẽrd ); p. pr. & vb. n. Lettering.] To impress with letters; to mark with letters or words; as, “a book gilt and lettered”.
Middle English letter, lettre, from Old French letre, from Latin littera ( “letter of the alphabet"; in plural:, "epistle” ), from Etruscan, from Ancient Greek διφθέρα ( diphtherā ). Displaced native Middle English bocstaf, bookstave ( “letter, alphabetic symbol” ) ( from Old English bōcstæf ( “alphabetic symbol, written character” ) ), Middle English bocrune, bocroune ( “letter, written character” ) ( from Old English bōc ( “book” ) + rūn ( “letter, rune” ) ), Middle English writrune, writroune ( “letter, document” ) ( from Old English writ ( “letter, epistle” ) + rūn ( “letter, rune” ) ), Old English ǣrendbōc ( “letter, message” ), Old English ǣrendġewrit ( “letter, written message” ) .
let + -er
Explanation of letter by Wordnet Dictionary
Definition of letter by GCIDE Dictionary