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90s Slang You Should Know


[ih-pis-tl-er-ee] /ɪˈpɪs tlˌɛr i/
contained in or carried on by letters:
an epistolary friendship.
of, relating to, or consisting of letters.
Origin of epistolary
First recorded in 1650-60, epistolary is from the Latin word epistolāris of, belonging to a letter. See epistle, -ar1
Related forms
unepistolary, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for epistolary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • However, lest too much stress be laid upon this circumstance, the epistolary character of the Ormulum must be borne in mind.

    The English Language Robert Gordon Latham
  • My acquaintance with Mrs. M'Corkle has been only epistolary.

  • The unwieldy three-decker of the invective should be reduced to the manageable form of the epistolary torpedo and gunboat.

  • This fault is, as we have said, aggravated by the epistolary method.

  • Her first grief over—and it lasted but for a day—she resolved upon an epistolary feat of her own.

    The Cassowary Stanley Waterloo
  • His epistolary power and skill in arguing his own case were creditable to him.

    Sandra Belloni, Complete George Meredith
British Dictionary definitions for epistolary


relating to, denoting, conducted by, or contained in letters
(of a novel or other work) constructed in the form of a series of letters
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for epistolary

1650s, from French épistolaire, from Latin epistolaris, from epistola (see epistle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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