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pen pal

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noun
  1. a person with whom one keeps up an exchange of letters, usually someone so far away that a personal meeting is unlikely: My niece in Texas has a pen pal in France.

Origin of pen pal

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pen-pal

pen pal

noun
  1. a person with whom one regularly exchanges letters, often a person in another country whom one has not metAlso called: pen friend
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

Word Origin and History for pen-pal

n.

also pen pal, 1931, from pen (n.1) + pal (n.). gradually replacing earlier pen-friend (1919).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper