What does letter mean?

Definitions for letter
ˈlɛt ərlet·ter

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word letter.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. letter, missivenoun

    a written message addressed to a person or organization

    "mailed an indignant letter to the editor"

  2. letter, letter of the alphabet, alphabetic characternoun

    the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech

    "his grandmother taught him his letters"

  3. letternoun

    owner who lets another person use something (housing usually) for hire

  4. letternoun

    a strictly literal interpretation (as distinct from the intention)

    "he followed instructions to the letter"; "he obeyed the letter of the law"

  5. letter, varsity letterverb

    an award earned by participation in a school sport

    "he won letters in three sports"

  6. letterverb

    win an athletic letter

  7. letterverb

    set down or print with letters

  8. letterverb

    mark letters on or mark with letters


  1. letternoun

    A symbol in an alphabet, bookstave.

    There are 26 letters in the English alphabet.

  2. letternoun

    A written message. See also note.

    I wrote a letter to my sister about my life.

  3. letter

    Literal meaning.

    "Some MEPs from some countries may have pocketed u00A32m more than I have by observing the letter but not the spirit of the rules." -

  4. letter

    A size of paper, 8½ in × 11 in (215.9 mm × 279.4 mm, US paper sizes rounded to the nearest 5 mm)

  5. letter

    A size of paper, 215 mm × 280 mm

  6. letterverb

    to print, inscribe, or paint letters on something.

  7. letterverb

    To earn a varsity letter (award).

  8. letternoun

    One who lets, or lets out.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Letternoun

    one who lets or permits; one who lets anything for hire

  2. Letternoun

    one who retards or hinders

  3. Letternoun

    a mark or character used as the representative of a sound, or of an articulation of the human organs of speech; a first element of written language

  4. Letternoun

    a written or printed communication; a message expressed in intelligible characters on something adapted to conveyance, as paper, parchment, etc.; an epistle

  5. Letternoun

    a writing; an inscription

  6. Letternoun

    verbal expression; literal statement or meaning; exact signification or requirement

  7. Letternoun

    a single type; type, collectively; a style of type

  8. Letternoun

    learning; erudition; as, a man of letters

  9. Letternoun

    a letter; an epistle

  10. Letterverb

    to impress with letters; to mark with letters or words; as, a book gilt and lettered

  11. Etymology: [OE. lettre, F. lettre, OF. letre, fr. L. littera, litera, a letter; pl., an epistle, a writing, literature, fr. linere, litum, to besmear, to spread or rub over; because one of the earliest modes of writing was by graving the characters upon tablets smeared over or covered with wax. Pliny, xiii. 11. See Liniment, and cf. Literal.]


  1. Letter

    A letter is a written message containing information from one party to another. The role of letters in communication has changed significantly since the nineteenth century. Historically, letters were the only reliable means of communication between two people in different locations. As communication technology has diversified, posted letters have become less important as a routine form of communication. For example, the development of the telegraph shortened the time taken to send a letter by transferring the letter as an electrical signal between distant points. At the telegraph office closest to the destination of the letter, the signal was transferred back into a hardcopy format and sent as a normal mail to the person's home. This allowed the normal speed of communication to be drastically shortened for large distances. The facsimile machine took this one step further: an entire letter could be completely transferred electrically from the sender's house to the receiver's house by means of the telephone network as an image. Today, the internet by means of email plays a large part in written communications. Historically, letters exist from the time of ancient India, ancient Egypt and Sumer, through Rome, Greece and China, up to the present day. Letters make up several of the books of the Bible. Archives of correspondence, whether for personal, diplomatic, or business reasons, serve as primary sources for historians.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Letter

    let′ėr, n. a conventional mark to express a sound: a written or printed message: literal meaning: a printing-type: (pl.) learning, literary culture.—v.t. to stamp letters upon.—ns. Lett′er-bal′ance, a balance for testing the weight of a letter for post; Lett′er-board (print.), board on which matter in type is placed for keeping or convenience in handling; Lett′er-book, a book in which letters or copies of letters are kept; Lett′er-box, a box in a post-office, at the door of a house, &c., for receiving letters; Lett′er-carr′ier, a postman; Lett′er-case, a portable writing-desk.—adj. Lett′ered, marked with letters: educated: versed in literature: belonging to learning (Lettered proof and Proof before letters; see Proof).—ns. Lett′erer; Lett′er-found′er, one who founds or casts letters or types; Lett′ering, the act of impressing letters: the letters impressed.—adj. Lett′erless, illiterate.—ns. Lett′er-miss′ive, an official letter on matters of common interest, sent to members of a church: a letter from the sovereign addressed to a dean and chapter, naming the person they are to elect bishop—also Royal letter; Lett′ern (same as Lectern); Lett′er-of-cred′it, a letter authorising credit or cash to a certain sum to be paid to the bearer; Lett′er-of-marque (märk), a commission given to a private ship by a government to make reprisals on the vessels of another state.—adj. Lett′er-per′fect, kept in the memory exactly (of an actor's part, &c.).—ns. Lett′erpress, letters impressed or matter printed from type, as distinguished from engraving: a copying-press; Lett′ers-pā′tent, a writing conferring a patent or authorising a person to enjoy some privilege, so called because written on open sheets of parchment; Lett′er-stamp, a post-office implement for defacing a postage-stamp: a stamp for imprinting dates, &c., on letters or papers; Lett′er-wood, the heart-wood of a tree found in British Guiana, dark brown, with darker spots somewhat resembling hieroglyphics; Lett′er-writ′er, one who writes letters, esp. for hire: a book containing forms for imitation in writing letters.—Letter of indication (see Circular); Letters of administration, a document issued by court appointing an administrator of an intestate estate; Letters requisitory, or rogatory, an instrument by which a court of one country asks that of another to take certain evidence on its behalf; Lettre de cachet (see Cachet). [Fr. lettre—L. littera.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Letter

    Work consisting of written or printed communication between individuals or between persons and representatives of corporate bodies. The correspondence may be personal or professional. In medical and other scientific publications the letter is usually from one or more authors to the editor of the journal or book publishing the item being commented upon or discussed. LETTER is often accompanied by COMMENT.

Editors Contribution

  1. letter

    A written or typed document.

    They sent a letter confirming the details of the agreement.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 4, 2020  
  2. letter

    Symbol with meaning.

    Letters form the part of many alphabets.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 31, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'letter' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #761

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'letter' in Written Corpus Frequency: #643

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'letter' in Nouns Frequency: #162

How to pronounce letter?

How to say letter in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of letter in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of letter in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of letter in a Sentence

  1. John McDonnell:

    He may well be in contempt of parliament or the courts themselves because he's clearly trying to undermine the first letter, and not signing the letter, he's behaving a bit like a spoiled brat, parliament made a decision, he should abide by it.

  2. Liz Hempowicz:

    On the letter of the law, this isn't a violation, however it doesn't look good. That's not nothing when we're talking about the chief law enforcement officer of the country and his private activity, it contributes to this idea that you have to be putting money into an entity that will benefit the President -- if not today, then down the road -- personally to stay in his good graces.

  3. Gregory Meeks:

    The purpose of the letter initially was to make sure that there's dialogue, conversation. We're going to have a meeting with the administration tomorrow where the issues and the questions that one may have will be able to be asked and that was the purpose of considering the letter.

  4. Kingsley Chow:

    I am following the majority action. This is a significantly essential issue as you have promised substantial and persistent dividend-paying, but you fail to do that, our first demand, at least, you have to open EGM to explain to us face-to-face, not just an apology letter!.

  5. John Eastman:

    My legal team put together a letter responding to the subpoena request, explaining all the reasons why I was going to assert my privileges under the Fifth Amendment, not to come testify and not to produce all these documents.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for letter

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    the act of carrying something
    • A. doom
    • B. inspire
    • C. carry
    • D. blur

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