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scarlet letter

a scarlet letter “A,” formerly worn by one convicted of adultery.
Origin of scarlet letter
An Americanism dating back to 1840-50

Scarlet Letter, The

a novel (1850) by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for scarlet letter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I suppose it is generally agreed that "The scarlet letter" is his chef-d'œuvre.

    Four Americans Henry A. Beers
  • What was the efficacy of the whipping or the "scarlet letter," we are not informed.

  • “I have left thee to the scarlet letter,” replied Roger Chillingworth.

    The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • But in good earnest now, mother dear, what does this scarlet letter mean?

    The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread.

    The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for scarlet letter

scarlet letter

(esp among US Puritans) a scarlet letter A formerly worn by a person convicted of adultery
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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