• (RP) IPA: /ˈlɛtə(ɹ)/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈlɛtɚ/, /-ɾɚ/
  • (Australia) IPA: /ˈletə(ɹ)/, /-ɾə(ɹ)/

letter (plural letters)

  1. A symbol in an alphabet.
    There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet.
    • Bible, Gospel of Luke xxiii. 38
      And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew.
  2. A written or printed communication, generally longer and more formal than a note.
    I wrote a letter to my sister about my life.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part I, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      An indulgent playmate, Grannie would lay aside the long scratchy-looking letter she was writing (heavily crossed ‘to save notepaper’) and enter into the delightful pastime of ‘a chicken from Mr Whiteley's’.
  3. The literal meaning of something, as distinguished from its intended and remoter meaning (often contrasted with the spirit).
  4. (plural) Literature.
    Benjamin Franklin was multiskilled – a scientist, politician and a man of letters.
  5. (law) A division unit of a piece of law marked by a letter of the alphabet.
    Letter (b) constitutes an exception to this provision.
  6. (US, uncountable) A size of paper, 8½ in × 11 in (215.9 mm × 279.4 mm, US paper sizes rounded to the nearest 5 mm).
  7. (Canada, uncountable) A size of paper, 215 mm × 280 mm.
  8. (US, scholastic) Clipping of varsity letter#English|varsity letter.
  9. (printing, dated) A single type; type, collectively; a style of type.
  • (written character/alphabetic symbol) bookstaff/bookstave
Related terms Translations Translations Verb

letter (letters, present participle lettering; past and past participle lettered)

  1. (transitive) To print, inscribe, or paint letters on something.
  2. (intransitive, US, scholastic) To earn a varsity letter (award).

letter (plural letters)

  1. One who lets, or lets out.
    the letter of a room
    a blood-letter
  2. (archaic) One who retards or hinders.

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