epistle

noun
epis·​tle | \ i-ˈpi-səl How to pronounce epistle (audio) \

Definition of epistle

1 capitalized

a : one of the letters adopted as books of the New Testament
b : a liturgical lection usually from one of the New Testament Epistles
2a : letter especially : a formal or elegant letter
b : a composition in the form of a letter

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from epistle

epistler \ i-​ˈpi-​sə-​lər How to pronounce epistler (audio) \ noun

Examples of epistle in a Sentence

St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. He penned lengthy epistles to her.

Recent Examples on the Web

This kind of aphorism fills the space left not only by the epigram but by the epistles once exchanged by friends with time to be funny. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Art of Aphorism," 15 July 2019 Consider the question of the authorship of Paul’s epistles. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘A History of the Bible’ Review: Scripture Under Scrutiny," 9 July 2019 This kind of aphorism fills the space left not only by the epigram but by the epistles once exchanged by friends with time to be funny. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Art of Aphorism," 15 July 2019 Consider the question of the authorship of Paul’s epistles. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘A History of the Bible’ Review: Scripture Under Scrutiny," 9 July 2019 But in 2018, with panic over Trump’s travel bans in full effect, the anti-migratory epistle resonates differently. Constance Grady, Vox, "How 2018 reshaped Angels in America," 30 Apr. 2018 Because of the expense of producing books, complete versions of the New Testament, such as in the Codex Sinaiticus, were rare, and Christian Coptic manuscripts often feature only selections, such as the four gospels or the epistles of Paul. Nicholas Wade, New York Times, "Scanning an Ancient Biblical Text That Humans Fear to Open," 5 Jan. 2018 To be clear, this is not a fetishized epistle of black women. Tunde Wey, San Francisco Chronicle, "Black women are the future of the food industry," 15 Dec. 2017 Claiming to only write when God is present, his studious epistle to the streets will galvanize hearts as well as viral streams. Bianca Alysse, Billboard, "CyHi The Prynce Talks New Album 'No Dope on Sundays' & Why JAY-Z Is What 'Martin Luther King Jr. Would Have Been'," 14 Nov. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of epistle

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for epistle

Middle English, letter, Epistle, from Anglo-French, from Latin epistula, epistola letter, from Greek epistolē message, letter, from epistellein to send to, from epi- + stellein to send

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about epistle

Statistics for epistle

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for epistle

The first known use of epistle was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for epistle

epistle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of epistle

in the Bible : any one of the letters to the early Christians that are part of the New Testament

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on epistle

What made you want to look up epistle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!