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1 [let-er]
a written or printed communication addressed to a person or organization and usually transmitted by mail.
a symbol or character that is conventionally used in writing and printing to represent a speech sound and that is part of an alphabet.
a piece of printing type bearing such a symbol or character.
a particular style of type.
such types collectively.
Often, letters. a formal document granting a right or privilege.
actual terms or wording; literal meaning, as distinct from implied meaning or intent (opposed to spirit ): the letter of the law.
letters, (used with a singular or plural verb)
literature in general.
the profession of literature.
learning; knowledge, especially of literature.
an emblem consisting of the initial or monogram of a school, awarded to a student for extracurricular activity, especially in athletics.
verb (used with object)
to mark or write with letters; inscribe.
verb (used without object)
to earn a letter in an interscholastic or intercollegiate activity, especially a sport: He lettered in track at Harvard.
to the letter, to the last particular; precisely: His orders were carried out to the letter.

1175–1225; Middle English, variant of lettre < Old French < Latin littera alphabetic character, in plural, epistle, literature

letterer, noun
letterless, adjective

8. See literature.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
letter (ˈlɛtə)
1.  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
2.  a written or printed communication addressed to a person, company, etc, usually sent by post in an envelopeRelated: epistolary
3.  the letter Compare spirit 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)
4.  archaic printing a style of typeface: a fancy letter
5.  to the letter
 a.  following the literal interpretation or wording exactly
 b.  attending to every detail
6.  to write or mark letters on (a sign, etc), esp by hand
7.  (tr) to set down or print using letters
Related: epistolary
[C13: from Old French lettre, from Latin littera letter of the alphabet]

lettering (ˈlɛtərɪŋ)
1.  the act, art, or technique of inscribing letters on to something
2.  the letters so inscribed

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-12c., "graphic symbol, written character," from O.Fr. lettre, from L. littera (also litera) "letter of the alphabet," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Gk. diphthera "tablet," with change of d- to l- as in lachrymose. In this sense it replaced O.E. bocstæf,
lit. "book staff" (cf. Ger. Buchstabe "letter, character," from O.H.G. buohstab, from P.Gmc. *bok-staba-m). The pl. litteræ in L. meant "epistle, written documents, literature," a sense first attested early 13c. in M.E., replacing O.E. ærendgewrit, lit. "errand-writing." School letter in sports, first awarded by U. of Chicago football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Letter definition

in Rom. 2:27, 29 means the outward form. The "oldness of the letter" (7:6) is a phrase which denotes the old way of literal outward obedience to the law as a system of mere external rules of conduct. In 2 Cor. 3:6, "the letter" means the Mosaic law as a written law. (See WRITING.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
From the lettering you can still read on a few of them he believes they were
  old machine shop tool bins.
The globe logo and the lettering on the cans will remain the same, but a new
  theme will make its debut every few weeks.
It would have been better to touch up the image to make the lettering disappear
It's distinctive but lettering is too small and sign is nonreflective.
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