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[let-er-boks] /ˈlɛt ərˌbɒks/
Also, letter box. Chiefly British. a public or private mailbox.
Digital Technology, Television. a technique for displaying a wide-screen film or landscape video on a narrower screen by reducing its size but retaining the aspect ratio, with black bands filling the screen above and below the picture (often used attributively):
letterbox videos.
Compare pan and scan, pillarbox (def 1).
verb (used with object)
Digital Technology, Television. to display (a film or video) by using the letterbox technique.
Origin of letterbox
First recorded in 1765-75; letter1 + box1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for letter box
Historical Examples
  • This was nothing more than a letter box for the freight thieves.

    The Rover Boys on the Farm Arthur M. Winfield (AKA Edward Stratemeyer)
  • Rosemary peered into the letter box and saw that The Household Guardian was there.

  • I have established a letter box for their communications at the Hole in the Tree.

    Last Words Juliana Horatia Ewing
  • I was to put the missive in a letter box if I were accepted.

    Crimes of Charity Konrad Bercovici
  • This messenger rifles it, reseals it, and deposits it in the letter box.

  • The clerk directed Tim to deposit the document in the letter box.

  • I discovered this by the dates on a lot of circulars in the letter box.

    The Exploits of Juve

    Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain
  • I don't know when I will have the courage to look in my letter box.

    Edgar Saltus: The Man

    Marie Saltus
  • And now I must go to my letter box, she told Cap, the faithful.

  • As he drew near to the letter box he felt that till now he had been a composer.

    The Way of Ambition Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for letter box

letter box

noun (mainly Brit)
  1. a slot, usually covered with a hinged flap, through which letters, etc, are delivered to a building
  2. a private box into which letters, etc, are delivered
Also called postbox. a public box into which letters, etc, are put for collection and delivery
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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Slang definitions & phrases for letter box



To show a wide-screen movie on the television screen by reducing its size and putting black bars above and below: Today we'll see a wide-format, letterboxed edition, which is rarely telecast/ ''letterboxing,'' which retains theatrical images on a rectangular shape (1990s+ Television)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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