epistle

[ ih-pis-uh l ]
/ ɪˈpɪs əl /

noun

a letter, especially a formal or didactic one; written communication.
(usually initial capital letter) one of the apostolic letters in the New Testament.
(often initial capital letter) an extract, usually from one of the Epistles of the New Testament, forming part of the Eucharistic service in certain churches.

Origin of epistle

before 900; Middle English; Old English epistol < Latin epistula, epistola < Greek epistolḗ message, letter, equivalent to epi- epi- + stol- (variant stem of stéllein to send) + noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for epistle

British Dictionary definitions for epistle (1 of 2)

epistle
/ (ɪˈpɪsəl) /

noun

a letter, esp one that is long, formal, or didactic
a literary work in letter form, esp a dedicatory verse letter of a type originated by Horace

Word Origin for epistle

Old English epistol, via Latin from Greek epistolē, from epistellein to send to, from stellein to prepare, send

British Dictionary definitions for epistle (2 of 2)

Epistle
/ (ɪˈpɪsəl) /

noun

New Testament any of the apostolic letters of Saints Paul, Peter, James, Jude, or John
a reading from one of the Epistles, forming part of the Eucharistic service in many Christian Churches
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