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, "Twenty-Five of Our Favorite Stories From 2020," 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, "Lady Gaga Kicks Off Empowering Twitter Chain Letter for International Women's Day," 8 Mar. 2019 Suddenly the most cynical of us are responding to internet chain letters and sharing questionable memes. oregonlive, "13 corny grandpa jokes to help you feel better about the coronavirus pandemic," 9 Apr. 2020 Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about chain letters. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Break the chain," 18 Nov. 2019 Or that one family member who still sends you chain letters on Facebook. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "These are the most popular cat and dog names in Indianapolis this year," 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, "Miranda July Talks #MeToo, Tech, and Joanie4Jackie," 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, "Beware the viral Facebook hoax that’s tricking people into thinking their account was hacked," 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, "Groups in Myanmar Fire Back at Zuckerberg," 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

1905, 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 1905

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Statistics for chain letter

Last Updated

30 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chain letter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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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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