• synonyms


  1. contained in or carried on by letters: an epistolary friendship.
  2. of, relating to, or consisting of letters.
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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

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British Dictionary definitions for epistolary


archaic epistolatory

  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
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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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper