Definition of Letter

Let´ter   Pronunciation: lĕt´tẽr
n.1.One who lets or permits; one who lets anything for hire.
1.One who retards or hinders.
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.
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.Learning; erudition; as, a man of letters.
7.A letter; an epistle.
8.(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 letters, or night letters according to the time of sending, and by The Postal Telegraph Company day lettergrams, or night lettergrams.
Dead 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a part of it are in such a position (indicated by a particular combination of the letters) as to permit the bolt to be withdrawn.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.
v. t.1.To impress with letters; to mark with letters or words; as, a book gilt and lettered.
[imp. & p. p. Lettered (-tẽrd); p. pr. & vb. n. Lettering.]

Related Words

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letter bomb
Letter book
Letter box
Letter carrier
Letter cutter
Letter lock
Letter of credit
Letters dimissory
Letters missive
Letters of horning
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