pen pal

  1. a person with whom one keeps up an exchange of letters, usually someone so far away that a personal meeting is unlikely: My niece in Texas has a pen pal in France.

Origin of pen pal

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pen-pal

correspondent, epistoler

Examples from the Web for pen-pal

Contemporary Examples of pen-pal

  • But Lovell says inmates who are involved in pen-pal relationships tend to do better in prison.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Death-Row Pen Pals

    Deidre Depke

    November 20, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for pen-pal

pen pal

  1. a person with whom one regularly exchanges letters, often a person in another country whom one has not metAlso called: pen friend
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 pen-pal

also pen pal, 1931, from pen (n.1) + pal (n.). gradually replacing earlier pen-friend (1919).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper