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]
[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.
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.

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 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, 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
letters.


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

Related Words for Scrabble or Words With Friends:





Famous Quotes Containing Letter:


People have tremendous power, more than the average person understands, and certainly more than even I understood before I came to Congress. When any of my constituents writes me a letter, I promise you, we're listening.

-- Charlie Norwood (American Politician)

A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.

-- Jane Austen (British Writer)

We cannot afford to have any large section of the business world in doubt whether they have broken the laws or not, and we cannot let the laws become a dead letter through vagueness. In this view it is clear that an administrative commission can render invaluable service.

-- John Bates Clark (American Economist)

There's so much stuff said about me that's not true, so now if something is hurtful and wrong, I send an e-mail or letter immediately, saying, This is not true.

-- Tracey Emin (English Artist)

I see by your letter to my father that you are rather afraid the French may invade England.

-- William John Wills (English Scientist)

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)

Good authors, too, who once knew better words now only use four-letter words writing prose... anything goes.

-- Cole Porter (American Composer)

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 ( -)

While I write this letter, I have a pistol in one hand and a sword in the other.

-- Boyle Roche (Irish Politician)

You don't carry in your countenance a letter of recommendation.

-- Charles Dickens (English Novelist)

I began in an era where four-letter words were not allowed.

-- Pat Morita (Japanese Actor)

Please give me some good advice in your next letter. I promise not to follow it.

-- Edna St. Vincent Millay (American Author)

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)

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)

I was dating this guy and we would spend all day text messaging each other. And he thought that he could tell that he liked me more because he actually spelt the word 'YOU' and I just put the letter 'U'.

-- Kelly Osbourne (English Actress)

I do not pretend to write much of a letter. You know under what circumstances I am writing.

-- Joshua Chamberlain (American Soldier)

After the writer's death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.

-- Jean Cocteau (French Director)

Every person who is offered a knighthood has the opportunity to say yes or no. You get a letter from the Prime Minister saying you've been recommended for a knighthood and there are two little boxes, one says yes, one says no.

-- Derek Jacobi (British Actor)

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

-- Marie de France (French Poet)

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)

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)

For myself, therefore, I desire to declare that the principle that will govern me in the high duty to which my country calls me is a strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the Constitution as it was designed by those who framed it.

-- Martin Van Buren (American President)

I became a connoisseur of that nasty thud a manuscript makes when it comes through the letter box.

-- James Herriot (British Writer)

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)

I was coming back from Tel Aviv recently, and we had forty minutes of bumps. I got so scared I grabbed a paper and pen and put them in my pocket, just in case we crashed and I needed to write a letter from wherever we landed.

-- Daniela Pestova (Czechoslovakian Model)

His letter was like the shock produced by a cold bath.

-- Duff Green (American Politician)

I hold that the parentheses are by far the most important parts of a non-business letter.

-- David Herbert Lawrence (English Writer)

The decision violates both the letter and spirit of the law.

-- Philip E. Berger (American Politician)

I got one letter at the very beginning, like, in the first season, saying - from a woman who was very religious, very Christian, saying how wrong she thought the show was, but she thinks it's the funniest show on television.

-- Sean Hayes (American Actor)

I have been committed to carrying out my duties... in accordance with both the letter and spirit of all applicable rules of ethics and canons of conduct.

-- Samuel Alito ( -)

I have proved by actual trial that a letter, that takes an hour to write, takes only about 3 minutes to read!

-- Lewis Carroll (English 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)

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)

In fact, in some ways, I actually feel much more confident about the quality of Carousel than I do about The Cottage Builder's Letter: probably because of its cohesive nature.

-- George Murray (Canadian Poet)

Nature is a book, a letter, a fairy tale (in the philosophical sense) or whatever you want to call it.

-- Johann G. Hamann ( -)


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