letterbox

[ let-er-boks ]
/ ˈlɛt ərˌbɒks /

noun

Also letter box. Chiefly British. a public or private mailbox.
Digital Technology, Television. a technique for displaying a wide-screen film or landscape video on a narrower screen by reducing its size but retaining the aspect ratio, with black bands filling the screen above and below the picture (often used attributively):letterbox videos.Compare pan and scan, pillarbox(def 1).

verb (used with object)

Digital Technology, Television. to display (a film or video) by using the letterbox technique.

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Origin of letterbox

First recorded in 1765–75; letter1 + box1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for letterboxing

letterboxing
/ (ˈlɛtəˌbɒksɪŋ) /

noun

a method of formatting film that enables all of a wide-screen film to be transmitted on a television screen, resulting in a blank strip of screen above and below the picture
a type of treasure hunt in which a box, known as a letterbox, is hidden in a remote rural location and clues are provided as to its whereabouts
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