- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈlɛtə(ɹ)/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈlɛtɚ/, /-ɾɚ/
Audio (GA) (file)
- (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˈletə(ɹ)/, /-ɾə(ɹ)/
- Rhymes: -ɛtə(ɹ)
- Hyphenation: let‧ter
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”). Related to diphtheria. Displaced Old English bōcstæf (literally “book staff”) in sense 1 and ǣrendġewrit (literally “message writing”) in sense 2.
- lettre (obsolete)
letter (plural letters)
- A symbol in an alphabet.
- There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981, Luke 23:38:
- And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew.
- A written or printed communication, generally longer and more formal than a note.
- I wrote a letter to my sister about my life.
- 1692, William Walsh, “Preface”, in Letters and Poems, Amorous and Gallant:
- The style of letters ought to be free, easy, and natural.
- 1892, Poet Lore, volume 4, AMS Reprint, OCLC 6524500, page 94:
- The magician gave this to the young man and said to him ,“ Go at such an hour of the night and stand before a pagan tomb and call the demons , and throw the letter into the air , and immediately they will come to you . ” And the young man called the devils and threw the letter into the air, and the prince of darkness came, […]
- 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
- 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:
- 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’.
- The literal meaning of something, as distinguished from its intended and remoter meaning (the spirit).
- 1650, Jeremy Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living:
- We must observe the letter of the law, without doing violence to the reason of the law and the intention of the lawgiver.
- 1847, Alfred Tennyson, “(please specify the page number, or |part=Prologue, I to VII, or conclusion)”, in The Princess: A Medley, London: Edward Moxon, […], OCLC 2024748:
- I broke the letter of it to keep the sense.
- 2009 February 23, “Euro MP expenses 'can reach £1m'”, in BBC:
- Some MEPs from some countries may have pocketed £2m more than I have by observing the letter but not the spirit of the rules.
- (plural) Literature.
- Benjamin Franklin was multiskilled – a scientist, politician and a man of letters.
- (law) A division unit of a piece of law marked by a letter of the alphabet.
- Letter (b) constitutes an exception to this provision.
- (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) Clipping of varsity letter.
- (printing, dated) A single type; type, collectively; a style of type.
- 1644 February 8, John Evelyn, Diary:
- Under these buildings […] was the king's printing house, and that famous letter so much esteemed.
- accountant's letter
- advisory letter
- air letter
- begging letter
- black letter
- capital letter
- chain letter
- comfort letter
- commercial letter of credit
- cover letter
- covering letter
- crank letter
- dead letter office
- Dear John letter
- deficiency letter
- domincal letter
- drop letter
- encyclical letter
- fan letter
- form letter
- four-letter word
- French letter
- green-ink 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 of wishes
- letter opener
- letter paper
- letter perfect, letter-perfect
- letter security
- letter stock
- letter telegram
- letter writer
- love letter
- market letter
- news letter, news-letter, newsletter
- night letter
- night letter
- no-action letter
- open letter
- poison-pen letter
- red letter
- scarlet letter
- sea letter
- small letter
- swash letter
- to the letter
- transmittal letter
- varsity letter
letter (third-person singular simple present letters, present participle lettering, simple past and past participle lettered)
- (transitive) To print, inscribe, or paint letters on something.
- (intransitive, US, scholastic) To earn a varsity letter (award).
From Middle English letere, equivalent to let + -er.
letter (plural letters)
- One who lets, or lets out.
- the letter of a room
- a blood-letter
- (archaic) One who retards or hinders.
- letter on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- letter (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- letter in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- letter in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
From Dutch letter, from Middle Dutch lettere, from Old French lettre, from Latin littera.
letter (plural letters, diminutive lettertjie)
- letter (letter of the alphabet)
From Middle Dutch lettere, from Old French lettre, from Latin littera.
letter f (plural letters, diminutive lettertje n)
- indefinite plural of lett (non-standard since 2005)
- indefinite plural of lett (non-standard since 2012)
- indefinite plural of lett.