- a written or printed symbol employed to represent a speech sound or sounds; character in an alphabet: in some languages, as English, some words contain letters that are no longer sounded
- a written or printed message to a person or group, usually sent by mail in an envelope
- an official document giving certain authorities or privileges: usually used in pl.
- literature generally
- learning; knowledge, esp. of literature
- the strict interpretation of the literal meaning, or the literal meaning itself; exact wording: the letter of the law
- a cloth representation of the first letter of the name of a school or college, awarded and worn for superior performance in sports, etc.
- a type, impression, or photographic reproduction of a character of the alphabet
- a particular style of type
Origin of letterMiddle English lettre from Old French from Classical Latin littera, letter of the alphabet, (in plural ) a letter, epistle
- to make hand-printed letters on; mark with letters: to letter a poster
- to set down in hand-printed letters: to letter one's name
- to make hand-printed letters
- Informal to earn a school letter as in a sport
to the letter