letter

Definitions

  • The letter from home
    The letter from home
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v letter mark letters on or mark with letters
    • v letter set down or print with letters
    • v letter win an athletic letter
    • n letter a written message addressed to a person or organization "mailed an indignant letter to the editor"
    • n letter an award earned by participation in a school sport "he won letters in three sports"
    • n letter the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech "his grandmother taught him his letters"
    • n letter a strictly literal interpretation (as distinct from the intention) "he followed instructions to the letter","he obeyed the letter of the law"
    • n letter owner who lets another person use something (housing usually) for hire
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Additional illustrations & photos:

hand-lettere by FRED GOUDY hand-lettere by FRED GOUDY
Letter to Mr. Lillie. Friday Tenth May 1861 Letter to Mr. Lillie. Friday Tenth May 1861
The princess pulls the letter from the sleeping man's turban The princess pulls the letter from the sleeping man's turban
HEZEKIAH LAYING THE LETTER BEFORE GOD HEZEKIAH LAYING THE LETTER BEFORE GOD
Shorty Reading the Letter 160 Shorty Reading the Letter 160
OLD BLACK-LETTER QUARTO OLD BLACK-LETTER QUARTO
A woman leans against a letter B A woman leans against a letter B
A man walks through a letter D A man walks through a letter D

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable."
    • Letter A letter; an epistle.
    • Letter 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."
    • Letter (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."
    • Letter (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 lettersornight letters according to the time of sending, and by The Postal Telegraph Company day lettergramsornight lettergrams.
    • Letter A writing; an inscription. "None could expound what this letter meant."
    • letter a written authority from one person empowering another to transact business for him.
    • Letter 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."
    • Letter Learning; erudition; as, a man of letters .
    • n Letter lĕt"tẽr One who lets or permits; one who lets anything for hire.
    • n Letter One who retards or hinders.
    • v. t Letter lĕt"tẽr To impress with letters; to mark with letters or words; as, a book gilt and lettered .
    • Letter 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.""I broke the letter of it to keep the sense."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: TYPEWRITER, is one of the longest words that can be made using the letters only one row of the keyboard
    • n letter One who lets or permits.
    • n letter One who lets for hire.
    • n letter One who lets, retards, or hinders.
    • n letter A mark or sign used to represent a sound of the human voice; a conventional representation of one of the primary elements of speech; an alphabetical character.
    • n letter In printing, a type bearing an alphabetical character: as, an initial letter; broken letters.
    • n letter Alphabetical representation in general; characters used in writing or printing collectively; hence, in printing, movable type as constituting complete fonts: as, black-letter (either in manuscript or impression, or as type); plenty or scarcity of letter.
    • n letter A missive communication made by the use of letters. Specifically— A written message, notice, or other expression of thought sent by one person to another; an epistle: formerly in the plural with reference to a single communication.
    • n letter An official or legal document granting some right, authority, or privilege to the person or persons addressed or named in it: as, letters patent; letters of administration.
    • n letter An inscription.
    • n letter Literal or exact meaning; unglossed signification; that which is most plainly expressed by the words used: as, to adhere to the letter of the text.
    • n letter plural Literature in general; hence, knowledge derivedfrom books; literary culture; erudition: as, the republic of letters; a man of letters.
    • n letter In musical notation, same as letter-name.
    • n letter In English law: A letter of courtesy written by the lord chancellor to any peer, peeress, or bishop against whom a bill is filed, informing the party of the complaint and requesting an appearance, sent in lieu of summons.
    • n letter A letter from the sovereign addressed to a dean and chapter, naming the person whom they are required to elect as bishop. Also called royal letter. See extract under royal letter.
    • n letter See the adjectives.
    • letter To impress or engrave letters on; mark or stamp with a title or an inscription: as, to letter a book; a lettered stone or print.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The longest town name in the world has 167 letters
    • n Letter let′ėr a conventional mark to express a sound: a written or printed message: literal meaning: a printing-type:
    • v.t Letter to stamp letters upon
    • n Letter let′ėr (pl.) learning, literary culture
    • ***

Quotations

  • Anton Chekhov
    Anton Chekhov
    “When an actor has money, he doesn't send letters, but telegrams.”
  • Aristotle
    Aristotle
    “Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.”
  • Sir John A. Macdonald
    Sir John A. Macdonald
    “Never write a letter if you can help it, and never destroy one!”
  • Proverb
    Proverb
    “The word that is heard perishes, but the letter that is written remains.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    Henry%20David%20Thoreau
    “I have received no more than one or two letters in my life that were worth the postage.”
  • Walt Whitman
    Walt%20Whitman
    “The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”

Idioms

Dear John letter - A letter written by a partner explaining why they are ending the relationship is a Dear John letter.
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French letter - A French letter is a condom.
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Man of letters - A man of letters is someone who is an expert in the arts and literature, and often a writer too.
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Red letter day - A red letter day is a one of good luck, when something special happens to you.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. lettre—L. littera.

Usage

In literature:

The letter was wrote before he knowed the truth.
"Practical Grammar and Composition" by Thomas Wood
Your letter demanded a lengthy reply, but even this letter is very long, with all that I have to do.
"Erasmus and the Age of Reformation" by Johan Huizinga
In this way the letter of recommendation can be sincere, something almost impossible in the open letter.
"The Book of Business Etiquette" by Nella Henney
Remember me to my dear Mother, and give her this letter to read, and tell her that I will write soon.
"The Story of My Life" by Egerton Ryerson
She mailed her letter the next day, and a month later an answer came.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1905 to 1906" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Amongst his letters they found y^e coppyes of tow letters which he sent inclosed in a leter of his to M^r.
"Bradford's History of 'Plimoth Plantation'" by William Bradford
In "Pitt and Napoleon Miscellanies" I shall publish new letters of Canning.
"William Pitt and the Great War" by John Holland Rose
Her own letters to Grey comment on the whole proceeding as greatly to her liking.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
Marian wrote a letter to Jason Philip Schimmelweis.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
This shame at Pete's letter tormented Philip, and he stayed away again.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
So Polly was told to write the letter, and after many expressions of surprise, Polly wrote the letter that evening.
"Ralph the Heir" by Anthony Trollope
Then by every post, letters on letters arrive, all about nothing, and all demanding an immediate answer.
"The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete" by John Forster
I wish you would call on Mrs. Bentley and thank her for the letter; you can tell her when I expect to be in York.
"The Letters of Charles Dickens" by Charles Dickens
We give a letter which he wrote to Mr. J. L. Toole on the morning of the dinner, thanking him for a parting gift and an earnest letter.
"The Letters of Charles Dickens" by Charles Dickens
True, it was all that was provided and it was good enough for ordinary letters, but this letter to her was different.
"The Search" by Grace Livingston Hill
He was indeed unhappy as he sat there alone, meditating how he would frame his letter.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
It is a letter from Zuker, the German Jew, who is in England.
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
It contained not less than a hundred and fifty of Stevenson's letters hitherto unpublished.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
After his transfer to Van Diemen's Land, no letter reached her for some months.
"When Ghost Meets Ghost" by William Frend De Morgan
Galloway had received a letter from Henderson, in his own hand; any listener who knew Henderson's hand might see the letter.
"James VI and the Gowrie Mystery" by Andrew Lang
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In poetry:

From out the sunshine and the breeze
She to my heart replies,
Silent love-letters wafting me
On wings of butterflies.
"Lines - III" by Manmohan Ghose
And when the letter it was redd
Affore that goodlye companye,
I wis, if you the truthe wold know,
There was many a weeping eye.
"The Rising In The North" by Anonymous British
So, I must believe that I loved you once!
These letters say so;
And here is your picture—how you have changed!
It was long ago.
"A Few Idle Words" by Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard
WE read your Letters! no word lost;
All, all is rememberèd;
And often when there comes no Post,
Once more are the old ones read.
"News Of Christie" by Gerald Massey
Since he had drawn with listless hand
The letter, six long years had fled,
And winds had blown about the sand,
And they were wed.
"The Letter L" by Jean Ingelow
He kare his clubbe upon his backe,
Hee stoode both stiffe and stronge;
And, when he had the letters reade,
Awaye the lettres flunge.
"The Marriage of Sir Gawaine" by Anonymous British

In news:

Letters From Home volunteers gathered recently for their final meeting, where they organized supplies for their last letter stuffing party held Sunday.
I'm writing this letter to apologize for using the politically-incorrect term " second-string " in my last letter.
Re "Race relations" and "Venom in the letters column" (Letters, Oct 29).
Torn From Parents, a Top Speller Vents His Anger, Letter by Letter.
Letter carrier Jim Falvey collects food from postal customers on a previous Letter Carriers Food Drive.
This letter is in reference to Greg Gardner's letter to the editor published on Nov 18 ("Obama won but nation lost") in which he expressed his frustration with the results of the 2012 presidential election.
LETTER BY LETTER Robin Baker and her son, William Baker, with Linda Coppleson, a scribe.
Unflattering letter remains unread by taxpayers, despite Public Access Council's ruling that letter should be released.
But when is a letter more than a letter.
In reference to Richard Bollinger's letter Sept 7 and Don Hoover's letter Sept 16, both concerning the shutdown of American Standard, please note the following.
Editor's note: Oct 26 was the deadline to submit political letters and still have them run by Oct 30, which we previously set as the last day to run political letters befor.
Read letters from inmates who were involved in or witnessed the Aug 8, 2009 riot at the California Institute for Men in Chino KPCC obtained the letters from a source who wished to remain anonymous related to someone who was in the Chino riot.
A few weeks ago, one of our "sons in the faith" sent a letter to The Brazil Times which appeared as a letter to the editor under the heading "Christian-Based Movie's Message Encouraging".
News Opinion Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor published Saturday, December 31 , 2011.
The letter, "These dangerous dogs require supervision," (Sept 13), was correct by writing that he expected more letters from readers who are responsible bully breed dog owners.
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In science:

We denote by wi,j the part of w that starts at the ith letter and ends at the j th letter of w.
Identifying Half-Twists Using Randomized Algorithm Methods
Here, every propagator has to get a totally new letter with respect to the propagators in the original string, since these letters are only inner summation indices.
AMEGIC++ 1.0, A Matrix Element Generator In C++
Obviously, this is mapping is a bijection onto the set of words in [k − 1]n−1(21-1) starting with j (since neither it nor its inverse, i.e. adding one to each letter ≥ j except the first letter, creates any new occurrences of 21-1).
Words restricted by 3-letter generalized multipermutation patterns
Then encode in wi each letter i + 1 or i by the symbol + and each letter i or i + 1 by the symbol −.
An algorithm for computing the global basis of an irreducible $U_{q}(sp_{2n})$-module
Then the tabloid τ is obtained from ν by changing m occurrences of letters of {i + 1, i} into the corresponding letters of {i, i + 1}.
An algorithm for computing the global basis of an irreducible $U_{q}(sp_{2n})$-module
The letter x ∈ {i, i + 1} is movable in Ck so there is no letter i + 1 or i to the left of x in w(Ck ).
An algorithm for computing the global basis of an irreducible $U_{q}(sp_{2n})$-module
If the vector vτ occurs in A(T ), the tabloid τ is obtained from a tabloid τ1 labelling a vector vτ1 occurring in A(T1 ) by changing r1 letters + of {i + 1, i} into the corresponding letters − of {i, i + 1}.
An algorithm for computing the global basis of an irreducible $U_{q}(sp_{2n})$-module
So the letter of w(T ) occurring at the same place as the letter y in w(T1 ) is ≥ y : it can not be x.
An algorithm for computing the global basis of an irreducible $U_{q}(sp_{2n})$-module
This implies that x is letter + and y is its corresponding letter −.
An algorithm for computing the global basis of an irreducible $U_{q}(sp_{2n})$-module
If τ ′ D T , there is a letter + in w (that we write z+ ) which is changed into its corresponding letter − when τ ′ is obtained from τ1 but is not modified when T is obtained from T1 .
An algorithm for computing the global basis of an irreducible $U_{q}(sp_{2n})$-module
It is usual to refer to letters instead of factors or columns. A letter is any of the labels Bi used to denote a factor.
Minimum aberration designs of resolution III
We define a word of type (K, L) to contain K letters A and L letters B .
Gauge theory description of compactified pp-waves
Let X1 begins with the letter 1 and consists of ℓ copies of each letter i ∈ A (ℓ ≥ 1).
Counting the occurrences of generalized patterns in words generated by a morphism
Let X1 begins with the letter 1 and consists of ℓ copies of each letter i ∈ A (ℓ ≥ 1).
Counting the occurrences of generalized patterns in words generated by a morphism
Gilbert, did not send me Sabatier’s letter and I was not given a chance to reply to this letter.
Comments on the letter of P.Sabatier "An erroneous statement"
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