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poison-pen letter

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noun

a letter written in malice, usually anonymously, and intended to abuse, frighten, or insult the recipient

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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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

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Idioms and Phrases with poison-pen letter

poison-pen letter

A letter, usually anonymous, that makes malicious statements about the recipient or a third party. For example, She told the police about the poison-pen letters, but they said they couldn't pursue the matter. [Early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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