Webster 1913 Edition
One who lets or permits; one who lets anything for hire.
One who retards or hinders.
letre, fr. L.
litera, a letter; pl., an epistle, a writing, literature, fr.
litum, to besmear, to spread or rub over; because one of the earliest modes of writing was by graving the characters upon tablets smeared over or covered with wax.
Pliny, xiii. 11.See
Liniment, and cf.
A mark or character used as the representative of a sound, or of an articulation of the human organs of speech; a first element of written language.
And a superscription also was written over him in
lettersof Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew.
Luke xxiii. 38.
A written or printed communication; a message expressed in intelligible characters on something adapted to conveyance, as paper, parchment, etc.; an epistle.
The style of
lettersought to be free, easy, and natural.
A writing; an inscription.
None could expound what this
Verbal expression; literal statement or meaning; exact signification or requirement.
We must observe the
letterof the law, without doing violence to the reason of the law and the intention of the lawgiver.
I broke the
letterof it to keep the sense.
A single type; type, collectively; a style of type.
Under these buildings . . . was the king’s printing house, and that famous
letterso much esteemed.
as, a man of.
A letter; an epistle.
a book in which copies of letters are kept.–
a box for the reception of letters to be mailed or delivered.–
a person who carries letters; a postman; specif., an officer of the post office who carries letters to the persons to whom they are addressed, and collects letters to be mailed.–
one who engraves letters or letter punches.–
a lock that can not be opened when fastened, unless certain movable lettered rings or disks forming a part of it are in such a position (indicated by a particular combination of the letters) as to permit the bolt to be withdrawn.
paper for writing letters on; especially, a size of paper intermediate between note paper and foolscap. See–
a steel punch with a letter engraved on the end, used in making the matrices for type.–
Letters of administration
the instrument by which an administrator or administratrix is authorized to administer the goods and estate of a deceased person.–
Letter of attorney,
Letter of credit
Letter of license,
a paper by which creditors extend a debtor's time for paying his debts.–
letters or writs directed to particular persons for particular purposes, and hence closed or sealed on the outside; – distinguished from
Letters of orders
a document duly signed and sealed, by which a bishop makes it known that he has regularly ordained a certain person as priest, deacon, etc.–
Letters overt, or
a writing executed and sealed, by which power and authority are granted to a person to do some act, or enjoy some right;–
as,. The common commercial
letters patentunder the seal of England
patentis a derivative form of such a right.
a stamped sheet of letter paper issued by the government, prepared to be folded and sealed for transmission by mail without an envelope.–
an instrument granted by the proper officer to an executor after probate of a will, authorizing him to act as executor.–
One who writes letters.
A machine for copying letters.
A book giving directions and forms for the writing of letters.
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To impress with letters; to mark with letters or words;
as, a book gilt and.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.One who permits.
2.One who retards or hinders.
3.One who gives vent; as a blood-letter.
1.A mark or character, written, printed, engraved or painted; used as the representative of a sound, or of an articulation of the human organs of speech. By sounds, and articulations or closures of the organs, are formed syllables and words. Hence a letter is the first element of written language, as a simple sound is the first element of spoken language or speech. As sounds are audible and communicate ideas to others by the ear, so letters are visible representatives of sounds, and communicate the thoughts of others by means of the eye.
2.A written or printed message; an epistle; a communication made by visible characters from one person to another at a distance.
The style of letters ought to be free, easy and natural.
3.The verbal expression; the literal meaning.
We must observe the letter of the law, without doing violence to the reason of the law, and the intentions of the lawgiver.
4.Type; a charter formed of metal or wood, usually of metal, and used in printing books.
5.Letters, in the plural, learning; erudition; as a man of letters.
Dead letter, a writing or precept, which is without authority or force. The best law may become a dead letter.
Letter of attorney, a writing by which one person authorizes another to act in his stead.
Letter of marque, a private ship commissioned or authorized by a government to make reprisals on the ships of another state. [See Marque.]
Letters patent, or overt, open, a writing executed and sealed, by which power and authority are granted to a person to do some act, or enjoy some right; as letters patent under the seal of England.