scarlet letter

noun
a scarlet letter “A,” formerly worn by one convicted of adultery.

Origin:
1840–50, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged

Scarlet Letter, The

noun
a novel (1850) by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
scarlet letter
 
n
(esp among US Puritans) a scarlet letter A formerly worn by a person convicted of adultery

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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Example sentences
My eyes fastened themselves upon the old scarlet letter, and would not be turned aside.
Not all animals, however, have ended up with a scarlet letter from science.
We've become a country of scarlet letter-wearers and an outrageously high rate of incarceration.
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