poison-pen letter

Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

poi·son-pen letter

A usually anonymous written communication that makes abusive or malicious statements or accusations about the recipient or another person.

poison-pen letter

a letter written in malice, usually anonymously, and intended to abuse, frighten, or insult the recipient

poison-pen letter

[ˌpɔɪznˈpɛnˌlɛtəʳ] nlettera (anonima) diffamatoria


(ˈpoizn) noun
any substance which causes death or illness when taken into the body. She killed herself by taking poison; (also adjective) poison gas.
1. to kill or harm with poison. He poisoned his wife.
2. to put poison into (food etc). He poisoned her coffee.
ˈpoisoner noun
ˈpoisonous adjective
containing or using poison. That fruit is poisonous; a poisonous snake.
ˈpoisonously adverb
poison-pen letter
an anonymous letter saying wicked things about a person etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
His latest poison-pen letter cites statistics from a paper that was subsequently retracted by the journal that published it (Social Science Research) because it was so badly flawed as to invalidate its conclusions.
The snobby poison-pen letter was sent to families in the plush suburb of Mount Merrion in South Dublin.
Indeed, simply keeping her pretty head above water proves somewhat of a trial for Kelly's character after she becomes one of the prime suspects in a poison-pen letter mystery sweeping the sleepy village of Lymstock.
The Question of Sport host was sent a poison-pen letter warning she would be stalked and killed like colleague Jill Dando.
After being revealed as the poison-pen letter writer, Steven goes to stay with Pat and announces he wants to see his real father, leaving Ian with a difficult decision.