Definitions for: Letter

[n] a written message addressed to a person or organization; "mailed an indignant letter to the editor"
[n] an award earned by participation in a school sport; "he won letters in three sports"
[n] a strictly literal interpretation (as distinct from the intention); "he followed instructions to the letter"; "he obeyed the letter of the law"
[n] owner who lets another person use something (housing usually) for hire
[v] mark letters on or mark with letters
[v] set down or print with letters
[v] win an athletic letter, in sports

Webster (1913) Definition: Let"ter (l[e^]t"t[~e]r), n. [From Let to permit.]
One who lets or permits; one who lets anything for hire.

Let"ter, n. [From Let to hinder.]
One who retards or hinders. [Archaic.]

Let"ter, 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.
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.

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.

5. (Print.) A single type; type, collectively; a style of

Under these buildings . . . was the king's printing
house, and that famous letter so much esteemed.

6. pl. Learning; erudition; as, a man of letters.

7. pl. A letter; an epistle. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

Dead letter, Drop letter, etc. See under Dead, Drop,

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 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,

Letters patent, overt, or 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.

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.
(a) One who writes letters.
(b) A machine for copying letters.
(c) A book giving directions and forms for the writing of

Let"ter (l[e^]t"t[~e]r), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Lettered
(-t[~e]rd); p. pr. & vb. n. Lettering.]
To impress with letters; to mark with letters or words; as, a
book gilt and lettered.

Let"ter, n. (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, or night, letters according to the time
of sending, and by The Postal Telegraph Company {day, or
night, lettergrams}.

Synonyms: alphabetic character, letter of the alphabet, missive, varsity letter

See Also: A, accolade, address, aerogram, aerogramme, air letter, airmail letter, alpha, alphabet, ascender, award, B, beta, business letter, C, chain letter, character, correspondence, cover letter, covering letter, crank letter, D, dead letter, delta, descender, destination, digraph, document, E, earn, encyclical, encyclical letter, epistle, epsilon, eta, F, form letter, G, gamma, garner, grapheme, graphic symbol, H, honor, honour, I, impress, initial, invitation, iota, J, K, kappa, L, lambda, laurels, letter of intent, literal interpretation, M, mail, mu, N, name and address, nu, O, omicron, open letter, owner, P, pastoral, personal letter, pi, postscript, print, proprietor, PS, Q, R, rho, round robin, S, sigma, spelling, T, tau, text, textual matter, theta, U, V, W, write, X, xi, Y, Z, zed, zee, zeta

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Famous Quotes Containing Letter:

I write a story as if it were a letter to someone and essentially, that's what you do.

-- Theodore Sturgeon (American Writer)

A fan sent me a letter and a $10 bill. It's a short letter - all she said was, "Hey, since it's harder for you to go out these days without getting photographed, here $10 for a pizza." I was like, "Aww, she sent me money for a pizza so I could eat at home!"

-- Zac Efron (American Actor)

When people ask for time, it's always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn't take half as long to say.

-- Edith Wharton (American Author)

In the first debate the bulges create the impression of a letter T with a small feature which appears similar to a wire under the jacket running upward from the right.

-- Robert Nelson (Canadian Politician)

My faith grew strong, and I sent a letter (as I was ordered) to the Rev. Dignitary of the Cathedral of Exeter. I was assured, before I sent it, he would not answer it.

-- Joanna Southcott (English Celebrity)

Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.

-- Aristotle (Greek Philosopher)

Happy is the novelist who manages to preserve an actual love letter that he received when he was young within a work of fiction, embedded in it like a clean bullet in flabby flesh and quite secure there, among spurious lives.

-- Vladimir Nabokov (American Novelist)

When it began I wrote this passionate letter to people I knew, studio members, of course, and other people with whom we have worked over the years and I said come and teach our students.

-- James Lipton (American Educator)

This is not a letter but my arms around you for a brief moment.

-- Katherine Mansfield (New Zealander Author)

It occurred to me in my junior year of high school. I got my first letter from a big college. I still have that letter to this day - a letter from Indiana.

-- Bo Jackson (American Athlete)

I got a chain letter by fax. It's very simple. You just fax a dollar bill to everybody on the list.

-- Steven Wright (American Comedian)

Out of five hundred who speak glibly of love, not one can spell the first letter of his name.

-- Marie de France (French Poet)

I am now in Gibraltar. It is a large place and there does not seem to be room in this letter, in which to express my feelings about Moors in bare legs and six thousand Red-coats and to hear Englishmen speak again.

-- Richard H. Davis ( -)

I do still get the odd fan letter about The Good Life, clearly written by somebody aged 18, who says: Will you send a photograph? And I think: Maybe it's kinder not to. I'm deeply into my 50s now.

-- Felicity Kendal (English Actress)

When my first child was born in 1962, I wrote a letter to my grandfather telling him how happy I was but how concerned; concerned because there were so many visions which were not very good.

-- Harri Holkeri (Finnish Politician)

The several tribes of Indians inhabiting the regions of the Upper Missouri, and of whom I spoke in my last Letter, are undoubtedly the finest looking, best equipped, and most beautifully costumed of any on the Continent.

-- George Catlin (American Artist)

Anyone nit-picking enough to write a letter of correction to an editor doubtless deserves the error that provoked it.

-- Alvin Toffler (American Author)

You don't expect to get the letter saying, Her Majesty would like to appoint you Knight Commander of the British Empire! It was just a completely overwhelming and exciting day.

-- Antony Sher (South African Writer)

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.

-- Phyllis Theroux ( -)

Frequently you have a clash between the more sterile letter of the law and the justice that underlies it, and I think one of the things I've been trying more or less, where it was possible, is to go with the justice rather than the letter of the law.

-- Harold H. Greene (American Judge)

Only a fool permits the letter of the law to override the spirit in the heart. Do not let a piece of paper stand in the way of true love and headlines.

-- Rod Stewart (Scottish Musician)

No one in the whole movie ever asks anyone, Did you write this letter' Part of the reason is that no one wants to hear that it isn't for them. As soon as they read it, they want it to be theirs.

-- Kate Capshaw (American Actress)

Journalism's ultimate purpose is to inform the reader, to bring him each day a letter from home and never to permit the serving of special interests.

-- Arthur Ochs Sulzberger (American Publisher)

As soon as I began, it seemed impossible to write fast enough - I wrote faster than I would write a letter - two thousand to three thousand words in a morning, and I cannot help it.

-- Helen Hunt Jackson (American Writer)

If a university official's letter accusing a speaker of having a proclivity to commit speech crimes before she's given the speech - which then leads to Facebook postings demanding that Ann Coulter be hurt, a massive riot and a police-ordered cancellation of the speech - is not hate speech, then there is no such thing as hate speech.

-- Ann Coulter (American Journalist)

Above all, a query letter is a sales pitch and it is the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write. It's the first impression and will either open the door or close it. It's that important, so don't mess it up. Mine took 17 drafts and two weeks to write.

-- Nicholas Sparks (American Author)

Law without education is a dead letter. With education the needed law follows without effort and, of course, with power to execute itself; indeed, it seems to execute itself.

-- Rutherford B. Hayes (American President)

You know when I really realized like "wow" what a gift this is was when I sang at camp and a girl wrote me a letter and said the song that I sung kept her from committing suicide.

-- Charles King ( Politician)

The red-letter days, now become, to all intents and purposes, dead-letter days.

-- Charles Lamb (English Critic)

I believe that people who do not vote in this country have no right to complain about the government that we are now living under. By the same token, if you don't really vote in television, you're never going to have your way. Write a letter to the president of the network.

-- Bill Bixby (American Actor)

Well, I'm not going to go into what the letter says, because the police are looking at that. But as you say it's in Bahasa. But of course that's not to suggest that the letter came from outside of Australia. It came from in Australia. It came from Victoria.

-- Alexander Downer (Australian Politician)

There are many members of parliament present here who know as well as I do that, if a man has not already been converted, it will require a great deal more than a letter of appeal to achieve conversion.

-- Fredrik Bajer (Danish Writer)

This at least should be a rule through the letter-writing world: that no angry letter be posted till four-and-twenty hours will have elapsed since it was written.

-- Anthony Trollope (English Author)

He didn't want to tell his son what to do, but told me to write the president a letter. I didn't name a country, but there are many countries we have a fragile relationship with.

-- George Herbert Walker (American Businessman)

The creative act is like writing a letter. A letter is a project; you don't sit down to write a letter unless you know what you want to say and to whom you want to say it.

-- Lukas Foss (German Composer)

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