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See also: Letter

Contents

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Handwritten cursive letters (sense 1) of the English alphabet, together with some punctuation marks and numbers
A letter (sense 2) written by German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in 1716

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English letter, lettre, from Old French letre, from Latin littera (letter of the alphabet"; in plural, "epistle), from Etruscan, from Ancient Greek διφθέρᾱ (diphthérā, tablet). 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).

NounEdit

letter (plural letters)

  1. A symbol in an alphabet.
    There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet.
    • Bible, Luke xxiii. 38
      And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew.
  2. A written or printed communication, generally longer and more formal than a note.
    I wrote a letter to my sister about my life.
    • (Can we date this quote?), William Walsh, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      The style of letters ought to be free, easy, and natural.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      He read the letter aloud. Sophia listened with the studied air of one for whom, even in these days, a title possessed some surreptitious allurement.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part I, London: Collins, ISBN 978-0-00-216012-4:
      An indulgent playmate, Grannie would lay aside the long scratchy-looking letter she was writing (heavily crossed ‘to save notepaper’) and enter into the delightful pastime of ‘a chicken from Mr Whiteley's’.
  3. The literal meaning of something, as distinguished from its intended and remoter meaning (often contrasted with the spirit).
    • (Can we date this quote?), Jeremy Taylor, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      We must observe the letter of the law, without doing violence to the reason of the law and the intention of the lawgiver.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Tennyson, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      I broke the letter of it to keep the sense.
    • 2009 February 23, “Euro MP expenses 'can reach £1m'”, in BBC[2]:
      Some MEPs from some countries may have pocketed £2m more than I have by observing the letter but not the spirit of the rules.
  4. (plural) Literature.
    Benjamin Franklin was multiskilled - a scientist, politician and a man of letters.
  5. (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).
  6. (Canada, uncountable) A size of paper, 215 mm × 280 mm.
  7. (US, scholastic) Clipping of varsity letter.
  8. (printing, dated) A single type; type, collectively; a style of type.
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Evelyn, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      Under these buildings [] was the king's printing house, and that famous letter so much esteemed.
SynonymsEdit
HyponymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

letter (third-person singular simple present letters, present participle lettering, simple past and past participle lettered)

  1. (transitive) To print, inscribe, or paint letters on something.
  2. (intransitive, US, scholastic) To earn a varsity letter (award).

Etymology 2Edit

let +‎ -t- +‎ -er.

NounEdit

letter (plural letters)

  1. One who lets, or lets out.
    the letter of a room
    a blood-letter
  2. (archaic) One who retards or hinders.

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


DutchEdit

 
Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

letter f (plural letters or letteren, diminutive lettertje n)

  1. letter (letter of the alphabet)

Derived termsEdit


Norwegian BokmålEdit

VerbEdit

letter

  1. present tense of lette

SwedishEdit

NounEdit

letter

  1. indefinite plural of lett