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Origin of dead letter
OTHER WORDS FROM dead letterdead-letter, adjective
Words nearby dead letter
Example sentences from the Web for dead letter
System, punctuality, industry, belong to the Dead-letter Office.
Naturally the decree for the surrender of weapons remained a dead-letter.A history of China., [3d ed. rev. and enl.]|Wolfram Eberhard
It embraces, also, all the operations of the dead-letter office, and the accounts connected therewith.Foot-prints of a letter carrier|James Rees
In a newspaper which reached the Dead-letter Office were found four sovereigns, and in another a gold locket.The Royal Mail|James Wilson Hyde
Everything in the world which must be felt with a glow in the breast, in order to be understood, was to him dead-letter.Emerson and Other Essays|John Jay Chapman
British Dictionary definitions for dead letter
Idioms and Phrases with dead letter
An unclaimed or undelivered letter that is eventually destroyed or returned to the sender. For example, She moved without leaving a forwarding address, so her mail ended up in the dead letter office. [c. 1700]
A statute or directive that is still valid but in practice is not enforced. For example, The blue laws here are a dead letter; all the stores open on Sundays and holidays. [Second half of 1600s]