Definition of The Scarlet Letter from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


The Scarlet Letter

; NAmE
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a novel (1850) by the US writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story is about Puritans in 17th-century New England. Hester Prynne is found guilty of adultery (= having sex with a person who is not her husband) and is made to wear a scarlet (= red) letter A on her dress. There have been three film versions, including one in 1995 with Demi Moore as Hester.