dead letter


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Related to dead letter: Dead letter mail

dead letter

n.
1. An unclaimed or undelivered letter that after a period of time is destroyed or returned to the sender by the postal service.
2. A law, rule, or precedent still formally in effect but no longer valid or enforced.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dead letter

n
1. (Communications & Information) a letter that cannot be delivered or returned because it lacks adequate directions
2. (Law) a law or ordinance that is no longer enforced but has not been formally repealed
3. informal anything considered no longer worthy of consideration
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

dead′ let′ter


n.
1. a letter that is not deliverable or returnable by the post office.
2. a law no longer enforced but not formally repealed.
[1570–80]
dead′-let′ter, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dead letter - the state of something that has outlived its relevance
state - the way something is with respect to its main attributes; "the current state of knowledge"; "his state of health"; "in a weak financial state"
2.dead letter - mail that can neither be delivered nor returned
letter, missive - a written message addressed to a person or organization; "mailed an indignant letter to the editor"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Without the SUBSTANCE of this power, the whole Constitution would be a dead letter. Those who object to the article, therefore, as a part of the Constitution, can only mean that the FORM of the provision is improper.
The Northwest Company were now in complete occupation of the Columbia River, and its chief tributary streams, holding the posts which he had established, and carrying on a trade throughout the neighboring region, in defiance of the prohibitory law of Congress, which, in effect, was a dead letter beyond the mountains.
Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation.
It has had a name to live in some dogmatic theology, but each man's innocence and his real liking of his neighbor have kept it a dead letter. I remember standing at the polls one day when the anger of the political contest gave a certain grimness to the faces of the independent electors, and a good man at my side, looking on the people, remarked, "I am satisfied that the largest part of these men, on either side, mean to vote right." I suppose considerate observers, looking at the masses of men in their blameless and in their equivocal actions, will assent, that in spite of selfishness and frivolity, the general purpose in the great number of persons is fidelity.
He prayed the court to cease the NAB ordinance which had become non-existent and a dead letter. He also prayed to the court to set aside all those proceedings being carried out by the NAB courts under the dead law of NAB ordinance.
Advocate Dogar asked the court to declare that after the 18th Amendment and insertion of Article 270-AA into the Constitution, the NAO had ceased to be the law and become non-existent and a dead letter.
The POstables - Oliver (Eric Mabius), Norman (Geoff Gustafson), Shane (Kristin Booth) and Rita (Crystal Lowe) - at the Dead Letter Office end up finding the camera and developing its photos.
He told Sudan Tribune that the NJEP has met its commitments regarding the DDPD, saying their partnership with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has become "a dead letter".
The apex court had also pulled up the Centre on November 23 last year over the delay in appointment of Lokpal saying it should not allow the law to become a " dead letter." Prashant Bhushan had filed the plea.
IT'S barely been 20 years since homosexuality was considered a crime in Cyprus and though the legislation was effectively a dead letter law, the stigma it conferred kept gay people from being open about who they were or being able to live their lives as equal members of society.
PARACHINAR -- Member of National Assembly (MNA) Sajjid Husain Tori has termed Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) was a dead letter in modern age here on Monday.
With the exception of the October 13 appointment of Bahah as premier, a September 21 deal with the rebels has remained a dead letter.