From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishletterlet‧ter1 /ˈletə $ -ər/ ●●● S1 W1 noun [countable] 1 LETTERa written or printed message that is usually put in an envelope and sent by mailletter from/to I got a letter from Melanie today. Bart’s writing a letter to his parents. → chain letter, letter of credit, open letter2 SLAa sign in writing or printing that represents a speech sound There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. Fill in the form in capital letters (=written in their large form). → block letters3 → to the letter4 → the letter of the law5 American EnglishSEDS a large cloth letter that you sew onto a jacket, given as a reward for playing in a school or college sports team Mark got a letter in soccer.6 → English/American/German etc letters → dead letter, man of lettersCOLLOCATIONSverbsget a letter (also receive a letter formal)I got a letter from my mother.write a letterHe wrote a letter inviting her to visit.send a letterThe school sent a letter to all the children’s parents.post a letter British English, mail a letter American EnglishCould you post this letter for me?answer a letter/reply to a letterI never answered his letter.open a letterBill opened the letter and read it.read a letterMay I read her letter?a letter comes/arrivesA letter came for you today.a letter is addressed to somebody (=has their name and address on the envelope)The letter was addressed to Mr. John Appleby.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + letterlong/shortShe was thrilled to get a long letter from her son.formal/informalThe letter sounded very formal.a personal letterI don’t want him reading my personal letters.a business letterIn business letters you often use phrases such as ‘I would be grateful if ...’.an official letterI received an official letter thanking me for my enquiry.a love letterThe book had a copy of a love letter from King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn.a thank-you letterMum made me write thank-you letters for all my birthday presents.a covering letter British English, a cover letter American English (=that you send with your CV to an employer)Always enclose a cover letter with your resume.phrasesa letter of thanks/introduction/complaint etcI finally got a letter of apology from the company.COMMON ERRORS ► Don’t say ‘invitation letter’ or ‘complaint letter’. Say letter of invitation or letter of complaint.
Examples from the Corpusletter• David, who won first prize in the lottery, has received more than 100 letters from charities asking for money.• I got a letter from Anna today.• Blackwell said in a letter last week sent to the Union-Tribune.• In a letter dated May 10th, the US government protested about the use of force in the republics.• Write me a letter and tell me all your news!• Hamlin wrote a letter to the council, complaining about the incident.• By his second year, he said, nearly 30 schools were sending him letters.• Impassioned letters to Onegin: 1.• Two other letters of Anselm during Osbern's disciplinary exile at Bec complete the story of their first meeting.• Which is the one that has been informed of the letter?• When Shevardnadze produced the letter and handed it to the President, Reagan placed it unopened on the table beside his chair.letter from/to• We enclose a letter to you sent in our care from the Wendell Trust Company.• There was a letter to the immigration depart-ment about harassing skilled employees on-site.• Discussion of mass resignation and letters to the papers.• In the prisoners' case, letters to the authorities should be worded carefully and courteously.• Naturally no expression of that shows through the decorous playfulness of her letters to him.• He mailed his last love letter to Gabriella from Plymouth in 1947.• Massine took this theme from Tchaikovsky's own letters to his patron in which he described a composer's search for ideas.• In the late afternoon of March 15 John Wade received a short letter from Kathy.capital letters• Some one wrote in all capital letters that unqualified disabled workers were slacking off and getting special privileges.• She labelled them neatly, writing the addresses in ball point pen and capital letters.• His financial transactions during the start-up period are listed below in the first column and are identified by capital letters.• There were seven lines of type at the very top, all in capital letters, done on a computer.• The Fundamental Principle, proclaimed in capital letters with definite reference implying definitive solution.• Sequences in capital letters are exons, while lower case letters indicate intron sequences.• Baseline the line on which the bases of capital letters sit.• Another thing Nisodemus was good at was giving words capital letters.