Definition of letter noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈletə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈletər//
    Types of text
    jump to other results
  1. 1  a message that is written down or printed on paper and usually put in an envelope and sent to somebody a business/thank-you, etc. letter a letter of complaint (British English) to post a letter (North American English) 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. See related entries: Types of text
  2. 2  a written or printed sign representing a sound used in speech ‘B’ is the second letter of the alphabet. Write your name in capital/block letters.
  3. 3(North American English) a sign in the shape of a letter that is sewn onto clothes to show that a person plays in a school or college sports team
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French lettre, from Latin litera, littera ‘letter of the alphabet’, (plural) ‘epistle, literature, culture’.Extra examples A letter headed ‘Advertising Mania’ appeared in the paper. Apart from the occasional letter, they had not been in touch for years. Fill in the form in block letters. George Bernard Shaw was a prolific letter writer. He had been sending poison pen letters to his neighbours, hoping to make them move away. He had been sending poison pen letters to people at work. His letter went on to give reasons for his refusal to take part. His name was written in large white letters over the doorway. I haven’t had a letter from her for ages. I hope my last letter has reached you. I was angry that they didn’t even acknowledge my letter. I wrote my uncle a thank-you letter as soon as I opened the present. I’ve had job interviews and received ten rejection letters. In your letter of 5 June… Our letters crossed in the post. Please reply by letter. Send your CV with a covering letter. Send your résumé with a cover letter. She drafted an angry letter to the newspaper. She received countless letters of support while in jail. She wrote an impassioned letter to her local newspaper to complain about the new road. She wrote him a letter saying that she was not coming back. The charity received an anonymous letter enclosing a large cheque. The company’s name is made from the initial letters of his children’s names. The conditions are explained in the accompanying letter. The editor published an open letter to the president. The letter concluded with a threat of possible legal action. The letter contained information that only the killer could know. The letter is dated 7 July. The letter started off by thanking us for our offer. The letter was addressed to me. The letter was forwarded from my old address. The porter distributes incoming letters to the offices. The postman put a bundle of letters through the letter box. There’s a letter box on the corner of the street. We reserve the right to cut or edit letters. Words with double letters, such as ‘accommodate’, are commonly misspelled. a letter of application/​apology a letter to the editor words such as ‘debt’ and ‘half’, which contain silent letters The prime minister has sent a letter of condolence to the family of the missing pilot. The system does not distinguish between upper and lower case letters. There’s a letter for you from your mother. They wrote a letter of complaint to the television network. Write your name in capital letters. You should include a covering letter with your CV. You will be notified by letter.Idioms (often disapproving) 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. doing/following exactly what somebody/something says, paying attention to every detail I followed your instructions to the letter.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: letter