letter


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to letter: letter writing, Letter of recommendation

let·ter

 (lĕt′ər)
n.
1.
a. A written symbol or character representing a speech sound and being a component of an alphabet.
b. A written symbol or character used in the graphemic representation of a word, such as the h in Thames. See Note at Thames.
2. A written or printed communication directed to a person or organization.
3. often letters A certified document granting rights to its bearer.
4. Literal meaning: had to adhere to the letter of the law.
5. letters(used with a sing. verb)
a. Literary culture; belles-lettres.
b. Learning or knowledge, especially of literature.
c. Literature or writing as a profession.
6. Printing
a. A piece of type that prints a single character.
b. A specific style of type.
c. The characters in one style of type.
7. An emblem in the shape of the initial of a school awarded for outstanding performance, especially in varsity athletics.
v. let·tered, let·ter·ing, let·ters
v.tr.
1. To write letters on: lettered the paper.
2. To write in letters: lettered our name on the mailbox.
v.intr.
1. To write or form letters.
2. To earn a school letter, as for outstanding athletic achievement: She lettered in three collegiate sports.
Idiom:
to the letter
To the last detail; exactly: followed instructions to the letter.

[Middle English, from Old French lettre, from Latin littera, perhaps from Etruscan, from Greek diphtherā, hide, leather, writing surface.]

let′ter·er n.
Synonyms: letter, epistle, memorandum, missive, note
These nouns denote a written communication directed to another: received a letter of complaint; the Epistles of the New Testament; a memorandum outlining the attendance policy; a missive of condolence; a thank-you note.

letter

(ˈlɛtə)
n
1. (Linguistics) any of a set of conventional symbols used in writing or printing a language, each symbol being associated with a group of phonetic values in the language; character of the alphabet
2. a written or printed communication addressed to a person, company, etc, usually sent by post in an envelope.
3. the letter the strict legalistic or pedantic interpretation of the meaning of an agreement, document, etc; exact wording as distinct from actual intention (esp in the phrase the letter of the law). Compare spirit110
4. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) printing archaic a style of typeface: a fancy letter.
5. to the letter
a. following the literal interpretation or wording exactly
b. attending to every detail
vb
6. to write or mark letters on (a sign, etc), esp by hand
7. (tr) to set down or print using letters
[C13: from Old French lettre, from Latin littera letter of the alphabet]
ˈletterer n

let•ter

(ˈlɛt ər)
n.
1. a written or printed communication addressed to a person or organization and usu. transmitted by mail.
2. a symbol or character that is conventionally used in writing and printing to represent a speech sound and is part of an alphabet.
3. a piece of printing type bearing such a symbol or character.
4. a particular style of type.
5. Often, letters. a formal document granting a right or privilege.
6. actual terms or wording; literal meaning, as distinct from implied meaning or intent (opposed to spirit): the letter of the law.
7. letters, (used with a sing. or pl. v.)
a. literature in general.
b. the profession of literature.
c. learning; knowledge, esp. of literature.
8. an emblem consisting of the initial or monogram of a school, awarded to a student for accomplishment, esp. in athletics.
v.t.
9. to mark or write with letters; inscribe.
v.i.
10. to earn a letter in a school activity, esp. a sport.
Idioms:
to the letter, to the last particular; precisely.
[1175–1225; Middle English, variant of lettre < Old French < Latin littera alphabetic character, in pl., epistle, literature]
let′ter•er, n.

letter


Past participle: lettered
Gerund: lettering

Imperative
letter
letter
Present
I letter
you letter
he/she/it letters
we letter
you letter
they letter
Preterite
I lettered
you lettered
he/she/it lettered
we lettered
you lettered
they lettered
Present Continuous
I am lettering
you are lettering
he/she/it is lettering
we are lettering
you are lettering
they are lettering
Present Perfect
I have lettered
you have lettered
he/she/it has lettered
we have lettered
you have lettered
they have lettered
Past Continuous
I was lettering
you were lettering
he/she/it was lettering
we were lettering
you were lettering
they were lettering
Past Perfect
I had lettered
you had lettered
he/she/it had lettered
we had lettered
you had lettered
they had lettered
Future
I will letter
you will letter
he/she/it will letter
we will letter
you will letter
they will letter
Future Perfect
I will have lettered
you will have lettered
he/she/it will have lettered
we will have lettered
you will have lettered
they will have lettered
Future Continuous
I will be lettering
you will be lettering
he/she/it will be lettering
we will be lettering
you will be lettering
they will be lettering
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been lettering
you have been lettering
he/she/it has been lettering
we have been lettering
you have been lettering
they have been lettering
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been lettering
you will have been lettering
he/she/it will have been lettering
we will have been lettering
you will have been lettering
they will have been lettering
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been lettering
you had been lettering
he/she/it had been lettering
we had been lettering
you had been lettering
they had been lettering
Conditional
I would letter
you would letter
he/she/it would letter
we would letter
you would letter
they would letter
Past Conditional
I would have lettered
you would have lettered
he/she/it would have lettered
we would have lettered
you would have lettered
they would have lettered
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.letter - a written message addressed to a person or organizationletter - a written message addressed to a person or organization; "mailed an indignant letter to the editor"
document - anything serving as a representation of a person's thinking by means of symbolic marks
mail - the bags of letters and packages that are transported by the postal service
text, textual matter - the words of something written; "there were more than a thousand words of text"; "they handed out the printed text of the mayor's speech"; "he wants to reconstruct the original text"
correspondence - communication by the exchange of letters
business letter - a letter dealing with business
cover letter, covering letter - a letter sent along with other documents to provide additional information
crank letter - a hostile (usually anonymous) letter
encyclical, encyclical letter - a letter from the pope sent to all Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world
fan letter - a letter that is a piece of fan mail
personal letter - a letter dealing with personal affairs
form letter - a letter that is printed in multiple copies and mailed to a list of recipients
open letter - a letter of protest; addressed to one person but intended for the general public
chain letter - a letter that is sent successively to several people
pastoral - a letter from a pastor to the congregation
round robin - a letter signed by a number of people
aerogram, aerogramme, air letter, airmail letter - a letter sent by air mail
epistle - a specially long, formal letter
dead mail, dead letter - mail that can neither be delivered nor returned
letter of intent - any letter expressing an intention to take (or forgo) some action
postscript, PS - a note appended to a letter after the signature
name and address, destination, address - written directions for finding some location; written on letters or packages that are to be delivered to that location
line - text consisting of a row of words written across a page or computer screen; "the letter consisted of three short lines"; "there are six lines in every stanza"
invitation - a request (spoken or written) to participate or be present or take part in something; "an invitation to lunch"; "she threw the invitation away"
2.letter - the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speechletter - the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech; "his grandmother taught him his letters"
spelling - forming words with letters according to the principles underlying accepted usage
alphabet - a character set that includes letters and is used to write a language
grapheme, graphic symbol, character - a written symbol that is used to represent speech; "the Greek alphabet has 24 characters"
ascender - a lowercase letter that has a part extending above other lowercase letters
descender - a lowercase letter that has a part extending below other lowercase letters
digram, digraph - two successive letters (especially two letters used to represent a single sound: `sh' in `shoe')
initial - the first letter of a word (especially a person's name); "he refused to put the initials FRS after his name"
a - the 1st letter of the Roman alphabet
b - the 2nd letter of the Roman alphabet
c - the 3rd letter of the Roman alphabet
d - the 4th letter of the Roman alphabet
e - the 5th letter of the Roman alphabet
f - the 6th letter of the Roman alphabet
g - the 7th letter of the Roman alphabet
h - the 8th letter of the Roman alphabet
i - the 9th letter of the Roman alphabet
j - the 10th letter of the Roman alphabet
k - the 11th letter of the Roman alphabet
l - the 12th letter of the Roman alphabet
m - the 13th letter of the Roman alphabet
n - the 14th letter of the Roman alphabet
o - the 15th letter of the Roman alphabet
p - the 16th letter of the Roman alphabet
q - the 17th letter of the Roman alphabet
r - the 18th letter of the Roman alphabet
s - the 19th letter of the Roman alphabet
t - the 20th letter of the Roman alphabet
u - the 21st letter of the Roman alphabet
v - the 22nd letter of the Roman alphabet
double-u, w - the 23rd letter of the Roman alphabet
x, ex - the 24th letter of the Roman alphabet
wye, y - the 25th letter of the Roman alphabet
ezed, izzard, zed, zee, z - the 26th letter of the Roman alphabet; "the British call Z zed and the Scots call it ezed but Americans call it zee"; "he doesn't know A from izzard"
alpha - the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet
beta - the 2nd letter of the Greek alphabet
gamma - the 3rd letter of the Greek alphabet
delta - the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet
epsilon - the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet
zeta - the 6th letter of the Greek alphabet
eta - the 7th letter of the Greek alphabet
theta - the 8th letter of the Greek alphabet
iota - the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet
kappa - the 10th letter of the Greek alphabet
lambda - the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet
mu - the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet
nu - the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet
xi - the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet
omicron - the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet
pi - the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet
rho - the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet
sigma - the 18th letter of the Greek alphabet
tau - the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet
upsilon - the 20th letter of the Greek alphabet
phi - the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet
khi, chi - the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet
psi - the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet
omega - the last (24th) letter of the Greek alphabet
aleph - the 1st letter of the Hebrew alphabet
beth - the 2nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet
gimel - the 3rd letter of the Hebrew alphabet
daleth - the 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
he - the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
waw - the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
zayin - the 7th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
heth - the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
teth - the 9th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
yodh - the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
kaph - the 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
lamedh - the 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
mem - the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
nun - the 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
samekh - the 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
ayin - the 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
pe - the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
sadhe - the 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
qoph - the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
3.letter - owner who lets another person use something (housing usually) for hire
owner, proprietor - (law) someone who owns (is legal possessor of) a business; "he is the owner of a chain of restaurants"
4.letter - a strictly literal interpretation (as distinct from the intention); "he followed instructions to the letter"; "he obeyed the letter of the law"
literal interpretation - an interpretation based on the exact wording
5.letter - an award earned by participation in a school sportletter - an award earned by participation in a school sport; "he won letters in three sports"
accolade, honor, laurels, honour, award - a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction; "an award for bravery"
Verb1.letter - win an athletic letterletter - win an athletic letter    
garner, earn - acquire or deserve by one's efforts or actions
2.letter - set down or print with lettersletter - set down or print with letters  
print, impress - reproduce by printing
3.letter - mark letters on or mark with lettersletter - mark letters on or mark with letters
write - mark or trace on a surface; "The artist wrote Chinese characters on a big piece of white paper"; "Russian is written with the Cyrillic alphabet"

letter

noun
1. message, line, answer, note, reply, communication, dispatch, acknowledgment, billet (archaic), missive, epistle I had received a letter from a very close friend.
2. character, mark, sign, symbol the letters of the alphabet
plural noun
1. learning, education, culture, literature, humanities, scholarship, erudition, belles-lettres bon viveur, man of letters and long-time party supporter
to the letter precisely, strictly, literally, exactly, faithfully, accurately, word for word, punctiliously She obeyed his instructions to the letter.
Related words
adjective epistolatory
Quotations
"Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls" [John Donne To Sir Henry Wotton]
"All letters, methinks, should be free and easy as one's discourse, not studied as an oration, not made up of hard words like a charm" [Dorothy Osborne Letter to William Temple]

letter

noun
A written communication directed to another:
Translations
حَرْفحَرْفٌرِسَالَةٌرِسالَه
букваписмо
dopispísmeno
bogstavbrev
leterolitero
kiri
حرف
kirjainkirjeaakkonen
चिट्टीपत्र
pismoslovo
betűlevél
hurufsurat
bréfstafursendibréfbókstafur
文字手紙
편지글자문자
epistulalittera
raidėskrupulingaišriftasfirminio blanko rekvizitailaiškas
burtsvēstule
letracartacaractér
caracterliterăscrisoare
listpísmeno
črkapismo
писмо
bokstavbrev
baruaherufi
จดหมายตัวอักษร
буквалистлітера
chữ cáithư

letter

[ˈletəʳ]
A. N
1. [of alphabet] → letra f
the letter Gla letra G
small letter(letra f) minúscula f
capital letter(letra f) mayúscula f
the letter of the lawla ley escrita
to follow instructions to the lettercumplir las instrucciones al pie de la letra
2. (= missive) → carta f
letters of Galdós (as published) → epistolario m de Galdós
letter of acknowledgementcarta f de acuse de recibo
letter of advicecarta f de aviso, notificación f
letter of applicationinstancia f, carta f de solicitud
letter of appointmentcarta f de confirmación de un puesto de trabajo
letter of attorney or proxy(carta f de) poder m
by letterpor carta, por escrito
covering lettercarta f adjunta
letters of credencecartas fpl credenciales
letter of creditcarta f de crédito
documentary/irrevocable letter of creditcarta f de crédito documentaria/irrevocable
letter of intentcarta f de intenciones
letter of introductioncarta f de presentación
letter of liencarta f de gravamen
letters patenttítulo m de privilegio, patente f (de invención)
letter of protestcarta f or escrito m de protesta
letter of recommendation/referencecarta f de recomendación
3. letters (= learning) → letras fpl
man of lettershombre m de letras, literato m
B. VTestampar con letras
lettered in goldestampado con letras doradas
a hand-lettered signun cartel escrito a mano
the boxes were lettered according to countrylas cajas estaban ordenadas por letras según los países
C. CPD letter bomb Ncarta f bomba
letter card N (Brit) → carta-tarjeta f
letter carrier N (US) → cartero/a m/f
letter opener Nabrecartas m inv
letter quality printer Nimpresora f calidad carta
letter writer Ncorresponsal mf
I'm not much of a letter writerapenas escribo cartas

letter

[ˈlɛtər]
n
(= note) → lettre f
letter of resignation → lettre de démission
letter of credit → lettre de crédit
[alphabet] → lettre f
the letter E → la lettre E
small letter → minuscule f
see also capital
to the letter → à la lettre
the letter of the law → la lettre de la loi
letters npl (LITERATURE)lettres fplletter bomb nlettre f piégée

letter

n
(of alphabet)Buchstabe m; the letter of the lawder Buchstabe des Gesetzes; to the letterbuchstabengetreu, genau; did he do it? — to the letterhat er es getan? — ganz nach Vorschrift
(= written message)Brief m; (Comm etc) → Schreiben nt (form) (→ to an +acc); by letterschriftlich, brieflich; to write a letter of complaint/apologysich schriftlich beschweren/entschuldigen
(Liter) lettersLiteratur f; man of lettersBelletrist m; (= writer)Literat m
(US, = award) als Auszeichnung verliehenes Schulabzeichen
vt sign, labelbeschriften; he lettered the invitations in golder ließ die Einladungen in Gold(buchstaben) drucken

letter

:
letter bomb
nBriefbombe f
letter box
n (Brit) → Briefkasten m
letter card
nBriefkarte f
letter carrier
n (US) → Briefträger(in) m(f), → Postbote m/-botin f
letter drop
nBriefeinwurf m

letter

:
letter jacket
n (US: Univ) Jacke, auf die die Initialen des besuchten Colleges gestickt sind
letter of credit
nKreditbrief m, → Akkreditiv nt
letter opener
nBrieföffner m
letter-perfect
adjtextsicher, sicher im Text; to be letterden Text perfekt beherrschen, den Text bis aufs Wort beherrschen
letterpress
nHochdruck m
letter quality
n (of printout)Korrespondenz- or Briefqualität f, → Schönschrift f
letter-quality
adj scriptkorrespondenzfähig; printoutin Korrespondenz- or Briefqualität; letter printerSchönschriftdrucker m
letter rack
nBriefablage f

letter

[ˈlɛtəʳ] n
a. (missive) → lettera
by letter → per lettera
letter of introduction/application/protest → lettera di presentazione/di domanda/di protesta
b. (of alphabet) → lettera
the letter G → la (lettera) G
small/capital letter → lettera minuscola/maiuscola
she's got a lot of letters after her name → ha un mucchio di titoli
the letter of the law (fig) → la lettera della legge
to follow instructions to the letter → seguire alla lettera le istruzioni

letter

(ˈletə) noun
1. a mark expressing a sound. the letters of the alphabet.
2. a written message, especially sent by post in an envelope. She slowly took the letter from its envelope; Did you post my letter?
ˈlettering noun
1. the way in which letters are formed. the art of lettering.
2. letters which have been drawn, painted etc. He repainted the lettering over the shop door.
ˈletterbox noun
1. a slit in a door (sometimes with a box behind it) through which mail from the post is put. He put the card through the letterbox.
2. a postbox.
ˈletterhead noun
the name and address of a company, a person etc printed at the top of a piece of writing paper.
to the letter
precisely; according to every detail. He followed his father's instructions to the letter.

letter

حَرْفٌ, رِسَالَةٌ dopis, písmeno bogstav, brev Brief, Buchstabe γράμμα, επιστολή carta, letra kirjain, kirje lettre pismo, slovo lettera 手紙, 文字 글자, 편지 brief, letter bokstav, brev list, litera carta, letra буква, письмо bokstav, brev จดหมาย, ตัวอักษร harf, mektup chữ cái, thư 信函, 字母

letter

n. letra; carta;
___ openerabrecartas.

letter

n carta; (of eye chart, etc.) letra; Do you want me to write a letter for you?..¿Quiere que le escriba una carta?
References in classic literature ?
They all drew to the fire, Mother in the big chair with Beth at her feet, Meg and Amy perched on either arm of the chair, and Jo leaning on the back, where no one would see any sign of emotion if the letter should happen to be touching.
and, blushing under his tan, Tom thrust the letter into his pocket and strode away, while Ned laughed happily.
She read a letter from her sister, who was away in the East, and who had engaged herself to be married.
When its turn came, the private secretary, somewhat apologetically, laid the letter in front of the Wisest Man in Wall Street.
Had seven long years, under the torture of the scarlet letter, inflicted so much of misery and wrought out no repentance?
Martin had been there an hour before, and finding she was not at home, nor particularly expected, had left a little parcel for her from one of his sisters, and gone away; and on opening this parcel, she had actually found, besides the two songs which she had lent Elizabeth to copy, a letter to herself; and this letter was from him, from Mr.
It was some minutes before she could go on with her letter, and the frequent bursts of grief which still obliged her, at intervals, to withhold her pen, were proofs enough of her feeling how more than probable it was that she was writing for the last time to Willoughby.
Miss Garth's doubts thronged back irresistibly on her mind as she sealed her letter to Mrs.
One bore by way of address, Letter for my lady the Duchess So-and-so, of I don't know where; and the other To my husband Sancho Panza, governor of the island of Barataria, whom God prosper longer than me.
This letter told Buckingham that the city was at an extremity; but instead of adding, "If your succor does not arrive within fifteen days, we will surrender," it added, quite simply, "If your succor comes not within fifteen days, we shall all be dead with hunger when it comes.
The sight of this officer recalled Villefort from the third heaven to earth; he composed his face, as we have before described, and said, "I have read the letter, sir, and you have acted rightly in arresting this man; now inform me what you have discovered concerning him and the conspiracy.
From whom may the letter be you bear to his eminence?