letter

A letter is one of the characters that make up the alphabet. When a child first learns to write, she often starts with the letters in her name. Then she can write a message, or letter, to her grandmother.

The alphabet begins with the letters a, b, c, d. These are written as capital letters when they appear at the start of a sentence or a proper noun, such as a person's name. Another letter is the kind you write and send to someone through the mail. Letter comes from the Old French letre, "character, letter, or note," from the Latin littera, "letter of the alphabet," and also "a writing or document."

Definitions of letter
  1. noun
    a written message addressed to a person or organization
    “mailed an indignant letter to the editor”
    synonyms: missive
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    types:
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    business letter
    a letter dealing with business
    cover letter, covering letter
    a letter sent along with other documents to provide additional information
    crank letter
    a hostile (usually anonymous) letter
    encyclical, encyclical letter
    a letter from the pope sent to all Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world
    fan letter
    a letter that is a piece of fan mail
    personal letter
    a letter dealing with personal affairs
    form letter
    a letter that is printed in multiple copies and mailed to a list of recipients
    open letter
    a letter of protest; addressed to one person but intended for the general public
    chain letter
    a letter that is sent successively to several people
    pastoral
    a letter from a pastor to the congregation
    round robin
    a letter signed by a number of people
    aerogram, aerogramme, air letter, airmail letter
    a letter sent by air mail
    epistle
    a specially long, formal letter
    dead letter, dead mail
    mail that can neither be delivered nor returned
    letter of intent
    any letter expressing an intention to take (or forgo) some action
    invitation
    a request (spoken or written) to participate or be present or take part in something
    billet, line, note, short letter
    a short personal letter
    billet doux, love letter
    a personal letter to a loved one expressing affection
    bidding, summons
    a request to be present
    invite
    a colloquial expression for invitation
    investment letter
    a letter of intent saying that a letter security is being bought for investment and not for resale; avoids need for SEC registration
    type of:
    document
    anything serving as a representation of a person's thinking by means of symbolic marks
    text, textual matter
    the words of something written
  2. noun
    the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech
    “his grandmother taught him his letters
    synonyms: alphabetic character, letter of the alphabet
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    types:
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    ascender
    a lowercase letter that has a part extending above other lowercase letters
    descender
    a lowercase letter that has a part extending below other lowercase letters
    digram, digraph
    two successive letters (especially two letters used to represent a single sound: `sh' in `shoe')
    initial
    the first letter of a word (especially a person's name)
    A, a
    the 1st letter of the Roman alphabet
    B, b
    the 2nd letter of the Roman alphabet
    C, c
    the 3rd letter of the Roman alphabet
    D, d
    the 4th letter of the Roman alphabet
    E, e
    the 5th letter of the Roman alphabet
    F, f
    the 6th letter of the Roman alphabet
    G, g
    the 7th letter of the Roman alphabet
    H, h
    the 8th letter of the Roman alphabet
    I, i
    the 9th letter of the Roman alphabet
    J, j
    the 10th letter of the Roman alphabet
    K, k
    the 11th letter of the Roman alphabet
    L, l
    the 12th letter of the Roman alphabet
    M, m
    the 13th letter of the Roman alphabet
    N, n
    the 14th letter of the Roman alphabet
    O, o
    the 15th letter of the Roman alphabet
    P, p
    the 16th letter of the Roman alphabet
    Q, q
    the 17th letter of the Roman alphabet
    R, r
    the 18th letter of the Roman alphabet
    S, s
    the 19th letter of the Roman alphabet
    T, t
    the 20th letter of the Roman alphabet
    U, u
    the 21st letter of the Roman alphabet
    V, v
    the 22nd letter of the Roman alphabet
    W, double-u, w
    the 23rd letter of the Roman alphabet
    X, ex, x
    the 24th letter of the Roman alphabet
    Y, wye, y
    the 25th letter of the Roman alphabet
    Z, ezed, izzard, z, zed, zee
    the 26th letter of the Roman alphabet
    alpha
    the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet
    beta
    the 2nd letter of the Greek alphabet
    gamma
    the 3rd letter of the Greek alphabet
    delta
    the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet
    epsilon
    the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet
    zeta
    the 6th letter of the Greek alphabet
    eta
    the 7th letter of the Greek alphabet
    theta
    the 8th letter of the Greek alphabet
    iota
    the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet
    kappa
    the 10th letter of the Greek alphabet
    lambda
    the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet
    mu
    the 12th letter of the Greek alphabet
    nu
    the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet
    xi
    the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet
    omicron
    the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet
    pi
    the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet
    rho
    the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet
    sigma
    the 18th letter of the Greek alphabet
    tau
    the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet
    upsilon
    the 20th letter of the Greek alphabet
    phi
    the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet
    chi, khi
    the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet
    psi
    the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet
    omega
    the last (24th) letter of the Greek alphabet
    aleph
    the 1st letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    beth
    the 2nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    gimel
    the 3rd letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    daleth
    the 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    he
    the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    waw
    the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    zayin
    the 7th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    heth
    the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    teth
    the 9th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    yodh
    the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    kaph
    the 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    lamedh
    the 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    mem
    the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    nun
    the 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    samekh
    the 15th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    ayin
    the 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    pe
    the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    sadhe
    the 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    qoph
    the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    resh
    the 20th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    sin
    the 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    shin
    the 22nd letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    taw
    the 23rd letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    polyphone, polyphonic letter
    a letter that has two or more pronunciations
    block capital, block letter
    a plain hand-drawn letter
    vowel
    a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken vowel
    consonant
    a letter of the alphabet standing for a spoken consonant
    vowel point
    a mark placed below or near a consonant (as in Hebrew or Arabic) to indicate the spoken vowel
    type of:
    character, grapheme, graphic symbol
    a written symbol that is used to represent speech
  3. noun
    a strictly literal interpretation (as distinct from the intention)
    “he followed instructions to the letter
    “he obeyed the letter of the law”
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    type of:
    literal interpretation
    an interpretation based on the exact wording
  4. verb
    mark letters on or mark with letters
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    type of:
    write
    mark or trace on a surface
  5. verb
    set down or print with letters
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    type of:
    impress, print
    reproduce by printing
  6. noun
    owner who lets another person use something (housing usually) for hire
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    type of:
    owner, proprietor
    (law) someone who owns (is legal possessor of) a business
  7. noun
    an award earned by participation in a school sport
    “he won letters in three sports”
    synonyms: varsity letter
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    type of:
    accolade, award, honor, honour, laurels
    a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
  8. verb
    win an athletic letter
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    type of:
    earn, garner
    acquire or deserve by one's efforts or actions
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