a letter sent to a number of people, each of whom is asked to make and mail copies to other people who are to do likewise, often used as a means of spreading a message or raising money.
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Origin of chain letter
First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for chain letter
a letter, often with a request for and promise of money, that is sent to many people who add to or recopy it and send it on to others: illegal in many countries
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