missive

A missive usually refers to the old-school style of hand-written communication on paper (remember that?), but these days you also might hear an email called a missive. No matter how you deliver it, a missive is a message.

The noun missive comes from the Latin word missus, meaning "to send." You may have heard the phrase, "fire off a missive," meaning a note, memo or dispatch that was written and sent with urgency and conveyed an important message. It might have been a missive sent from a commander to the troops, telling them of a change in the battle plan. Or, maybe it was an urgent love letter to the commander's wife back home, telling her to tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree...

Definitions of missive
  1. noun
    a written message addressed to a person or organization
    synonyms: letter
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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
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