poison-pen letter

World English Dictionary
poison-pen letter
 
n
a letter written in malice, usually anonymously, and intended to abuse, frighten, or insult the recipient

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

poison-pen letter

A letter, usually anonymous, that makes malicious statements about the recipient or a third party. For example, She told the police about the poison-pen letters, but they said they couldn't pursue the matter. [Early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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