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The entry for "letter" is displayed below.
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
let•ter1 /ˈlɛtɚ/USA pronunciation
[~ + object] to mark or write with letters; inscribe:The sign was beautifully lettered.
- a written or printed message or communication addressed to a person or organization and usually sent by mail: [countable]Her letters went unanswered.[uncountable; by + ~]The news came by letter.
- [countable] a symbol or character that is used in writing and printing to represent a speech sound and is part of an alphabet:The letter L is the twelfth letter in the English alphabet.
- [singular; often: the + ~] literal meaning, as distinct from implied meaning (opposed to spiritspirit ):the letter of the law.
- Literatureletters, [used with a singular or plural verb] literature or learning in general:a man of letters.
let•ter•er, n. [countable]See -lit-.
- Idiomsto the letter, to the last particular;
precisely:I followed your instructions to the letter.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
letter /ˈlɛtə/ n
- any of a set of conventional symbols used in writing or printing a language, each symbol being associated with a group of phonetic values in the language; character of the alphabet
- a written or printed communication addressed to a person, company, etc, usually sent by post in an envelope
- the letter ⇒ the strict legalistic or pedantic interpretation of the meaning of an agreement, document, etc; exact wording as distinct from actual intention (esp in the phrase the letter of the law)
- to the letter ⇒ following the literal interpretation or wording exactly
- attending to every detail
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French lettre, from Latin littera letter of the alphabetˈletterer n
- to write or mark letters on (a sign, etc), esp by hand
- (transitive) to set down or print using letters