chain letter


Definition of chain letter

: a letter sent to several persons with a request that each send copies of the letter to an equal number of persons

Examples of chain letter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Forms of the chain letter date back to ancient Egypt and the medieval age, while the modern iteration, collected and studied by scholars, surfaced in 1888. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Dec. 2020 Lady Gaga took to Twitter on Friday (March 8) to start an old-fashioned chain letter to celebrate International Women’s Day. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 8 Mar. 2019 Suddenly the most cynical of us are responding to internet chain letters and sharing questionable memes. oregonlive, 9 Apr. 2020 Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about chain letters. Heloise, Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2019 Or that one family member who still sends you chain letters on Facebook. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, 17 Dec. 2019 Joanie4Jackie grew and changed with July—there were a few iterations of chain letters, the later ones curated by other feminist filmmakers, as well as events around the country with contributors, and even an internship program. Bridget Read, Vogue, 16 Oct. 2018 The messages are essentially the next generation of chain letters, purporting to provide important information – and dire consequences if not shared by the recipient. Abby Ohlheiser, The Seattle Times, 8 Oct. 2018 In an open letter, the organizations, which have worked with Facebook to flag dangerous and misleading content, including the chain letters, said the messages had spread for days, caused widespread fear and set off at least three violent incidents. Paul Mozur, New York Times, 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chain letter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chain letter

1889, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for chain letter

Time Traveler

The first known use of chain letter was in 1889

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Dictionary Entries Near chain letter


chain letter

chain lightning

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Statistics for chain letter

Cite this Entry

“Chain letter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for chain letter

chain letter


English Language Learners Definition of chain letter

: a letter that is sent to a certain number of people and that asks each of those people to send a copy of the letter to the same number of people


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