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 Think of the video as a string of full-bodied thank yous, or a chain letter in dance, with each performer taking up where the last left off. Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2022 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chain letter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chain letter was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near chain letter

Cite this Entry

“Chain letter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

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