American English

Definition of letter noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a message that is written down or printed on paper and usually put in an envelope and sent to someone a business/thank-you, etc. letter a letter of complaint to mail a letter There's a letter for you from your mother. You will be notified by letter. You will find compounds ending in letter at their place in the alphabet.
  2. 2a written or printed sign representing a sound used in speech “B” is the second letter of the alphabet. Write your name in capital letters.
  3. 3a sign in the shape of a letter that is sewn onto clothes and that is given to a person in a school or college sports team who plays very well
  4. Idioms
    the letter of the law (often disapproving)
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    the exact words of a law or rule rather than its general meaning They insist on sticking to the letter of the law. We might be guilty of slightly bending the letter of the law.
    to the letter
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    doing/following exactly what someone or something says, paying attention to every detail I followed your instructions to the letter.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: letter