• IPA: /ɪˈpɪs.l/

epistle (plural epistles)

  1. A letter, or a literary composition in the form of a letter.
    • 1748 — David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section III, § 5.
      he may be hurried from this plan by the vehemence of thought, as in an ode, or drop it carelessly, as in an epistle or essay
  2. (Christianity) One of the letters included as a book of the New Testament.
    • 1956 — Werner Keller (translated by William Neil), The Bible as History, revised English edition, Chapter 41, page 358
      Even last century scholars had begun to search for the cities in Asia Minor whose names have become so familiar to the Christian world through the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St. Paul.
Related terms Translations Translations Verb

epistle (epistles, present participle epistling; past and past participle epistled)

  1. (obsolete, ambitransitive) To write; to communicate in a letter or by writing.
    • 1596, Thomas Nashe, Have with You to Saffron-Walden, London: John Danter, “The life and godly education from his childhood of that thrice famous clarke, and morthie Orator and Poet Gabriell Haruey,”
      Deuinitie (the Heauen of all Artes) for a while drew his thoughts vnto it, but shortly after the world the flesh and the diuell with-drewe him from that, and needes he would be of a more Gentleman-like lustie cut; whereupon hee fell to morrall Epistling and Poetrie.
    • 1671, John Milton, Paradise Regained, to which is added Samson Agonistes, London: John Starkey, “Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call’d Tragedy,” p. 4,
      And though antient Tragedy use no Prologue, yet using sometimes, in case of self defence, or explanation, that which Martial calls an Epistle; in behalf of this Tragedy coming forth after the antient manner, much different from what among us passes for best, thus much before-hand may be Epistl’d; that Chorus is here introduc’d after the Greek manner, not antient only but modern, and still in use among the Italians.


epistle (plural epistles)

  1. Any of the epistles of the Bible

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.004
Offline English dictionary