follow Dictionary.com

How Well Do You Know English Slang?

missive

[mis-iv] /ˈmɪs ɪv/
noun
1.
a written message; letter.
adjective
2.
sent or about to be sent, especially of a letter from an official source.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English (letter) missive < Medieval Latin (littera) missīva sent (letter), equivalent to Latin miss(us) (past participle of mittere to send) + -īva, feminine of -īvus -ive
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for missives
  • Please do not ever stop publishing these excellent missives.
  • He used to fax me quick missives with some regularity.
  • He composed missives with a devotional purposiveness.
  • But plenty of real missives are embedded in your favorite albums and videos.
  • The missives were coded in case an archer should shoot down a raven in flight for his meal and discover the secret message.
  • They also worry that all their witty little missives are simply giving critics fuel for later pyres.
  • Now a new technology is making those missives public.
  • Over the next five months these tiny missives would morph into a complex, engrossing and even lyrical narrative.
  • Three months later, the tone of his missives had become more strident.
British Dictionary definitions for missives

missive

/ˈmɪsɪv/
noun
1.
a formal or official letter
2.
a formal word for letter
adjective
3.
(rare) sent or intended to be sent
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin missivus, from mittere to send
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for missives

missive

n.

mid-15c., "commandment," noun use of adjective (mid-15c.) meaning "sent by superior authority," from Medieval Latin missivus "for sending, sent," especially in littera missiva "letters sent," from Latin missus, past participle of mittere "to send" (see mission).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for missive

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for missives

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends