1. The conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech; SYN. letter of the alphabet, alphabetic character.
2. A written message addressed to a person or organization; SYN. missive.
3. A strictly literal interpretation (as distinct from the intention)
4. An award earned by participation in a school sport; SYN. varsity letter.
Written or printed message, chiefly a personal communication. Letters are valuable as reflections of social conditions and of literary and political life. Legally, ownership of a letter (as a document) passes to the recipient, but the copyright remains with the writer.