letter

1
[ let-er ]
/ ˈlɛt ər /
|||

noun

verb (used with object)

to mark or write with letters; inscribe.

verb (used without object)

to earn a letter in an interscholastic or intercollegiate activity, especially a sport: He lettered in track at Harvard.

Nearby words

  1. letronne,
  2. lets,
  3. lett,
  4. lett.,
  5. letted,
  6. letter bomb,
  7. letter box,
  8. letter card,
  9. letter carrier,
  10. letter drop

Idioms

    to the letter, to the last particular; precisely: His orders were carried out to the letter.

Origin of letter

1
1175–1225; Middle English, variant of lettre < Old French < Latin littera alphabetic character, in plural, epistle, literature

Related formslet·ter·er, nounlet·ter·less, adjective

Can be confusedletter lighter liter litter

letter

2
[ let-er ]
/ ˈlɛt ər /

noun Chiefly British.

a person who lets, especially one who rents out property.

Origin of letter

2
1375–1425; late Middle English letere; see let1, -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for letters


British Dictionary definitions for letters

letters

/ (ˈlɛtəz) /

noun (functioning as plural or singular)

literary knowledge, ability, or learninga man of letters
literary culture in general
an official title, degree, etc, indicated by an abbreviationletters after one's name

letter

/ (ˈlɛtə) /

noun

verb

to write or mark letters on (a sign, etc), esp by hand
(tr) to set down or print using letters
See also letters

Derived Formsletterer, noun

Word Origin for letter

C13: from Old French lettre, from Latin littera letter of the alphabet

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 letters
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with letters

letter

In addition to the idiom beginning with letter

  • letter of the law

also see:

  • bread and butter letter
  • crank call (letter)
  • dead letter
  • four-letter word
  • poison-pen letter
  • red-letter day
  • to the letter
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.