epistolary

[ih-pis-tl-er-ee]

Origin of epistolary

First recorded in 1650–60, epistolary is from the Latin word epistolāris of, belonging to a letter. See epistle, -ar1
Related formsun·e·pis·to·lar·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for epistolary

Contemporary Examples of epistolary

  • Epistolary novels often function best as exercises in pacing.

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    This Week’s Hot Reads: Jan. 21, 2013

    Nicholas Mancusi

    January 22, 2013

  • Chatwin's tone throughout Under the Sun  recalls the Duchess of Devonshire's epistolary adieu, "In tearing haste—."

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    The Enigmatic Nomad

    Kirk Davis Swinehart

    February 26, 2011

  • It is as if the Zodiac Killer and the Unabomber were having an epistolary debate in the newspaper.

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    Headless Bodies in Endless War

    Bryan Curtis

    June 8, 2010

  • Dickinson scholar Judith Farr funneled her knowledge into an epistolary novel, I Never Came to You in White.

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    Emily Dickinson's Racy Side

    Donna Seaman

    March 1, 2010

Historical Examples of epistolary


British Dictionary definitions for epistolary

epistolary

archaic epistolatory

adjective
  1. relating to, denoting, conducted by, or contained in letters
  2. (of a novel or other work) constructed in the form of a series of letters
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 epistolary
adj.

1650s, from French épistolaire, from Latin epistolaris, from epistola (see epistle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper