Forms: eME leattre, ME lecter, ME letere, ME lettere, ME lettir, ME letture, ME ...
Frequency (in current use):
Origin: A borrowing from French. Etymon: French lettir.
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman lettir, leitre, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French letre, ...
c. An article or report describing the social, political, or cultural aspects of a particular situation or place, esp. one by a journalist or correspondent in another country. Chiefly with from, and in titles and headings.In early use not clearly distinguished from sense .
1588 J. Udall sig. F2v We receiued letters from England, that there were verie hard lawes made this last Parliament against the Catholiks.
1666 No. 27/1 Letters from Amsterdam of the fourth of this month, inform us that the Bishops forces have taken a Castle.
1782 J. H. St. J. de Crèvecoeur (title) Letters from an American Farmer; describing certain provincial situations, manners, and customs, not generally known; and conveying some idea of the late and present interior circumstances of the British colonies in North America.
1808 R. Southey (1856) II. 131 I am in want of the ‘Annual Letters from Paraguay’.
1874 ‘G. Eliot’ 7 Jan. (1955) VI. 4 The Parisian letter is nicely done... The single paragraph on the pressure of radiation is worth more than the price of the paper.
1913 W. J. Locke v. 52 He was..the contributor..of a weekly London Letter to an American syndicate.
1955 25 Apr. 16/3 Letter from America, by Alistair Cooke.
1966 K. Martin ix. 173 Dore was an excellent lobby correspondent, who for many years had written paragraphs about Parliament, mainly for the London Letter.
2007 D. M. Seekins (2008) 110 After Daw Suu Kyi's release from house arrest in July 1995, the Mainichi Shimbun published her weekly ‘Letter from Burma’ in Japanese translation.