mis·​sive | \ ˈmi-siv \

Definition of missive

: a written communication : letter wrote a lengthy missive to her father

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Examples of missive in a Sentence

She received yet another lengthy missive from her father. the two old friends like to fire off missives filled with good-natured teasing and mock insults

Recent Examples on the Web

While Harry may not have the opportunity to send out any more missives for a while—the royal family tends to limit their public correspondence to major dates like birthdays and weddings—his schedule won't be slowing down any time soon. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Sent Out the Sweetest Thank You Notes to His Birthday Well-Wishers," 4 Oct. 2018 But most of these missives don’t attract much attention. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The FAA, Boeing Issue Alerts for 737 Max 8 Planes After Lion Air Crash," 9 Nov. 2018 His social media missive preempted a policy review with several options that he was set to receive from administration officials. Philip Rucker, The Seattle Times, "Officials scramble to make Trump’s false assertions real," 23 Oct. 2018 The letters showed a clash with Benedict's No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who is also a target of his McCarrick missive. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Pope refuses to comment on claims he ignored McCarrick abuse accusations," 27 Aug. 2018 No missive expressing devotion to a Republican president is complete without an exclamation point and a nod to the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "In Kavanaugh, Trump Found Another Judge Who Will Kiss the Ring," 10 July 2018 This undelivered missive is one of the great paternal indictments in all of European literature, written by a shy, sickly, painfully sensitive 36-year-old Kafka and addressed to his brusque and authoritarian father, Hermann. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, "Kafka encaged, writing to his father," 18 June 2018 The missive is among the letters and telegrams from the White Sox to George Earl Windham Mills, a scout for the team from 1909 to ’15, on the block with Robert Edward Auctions through May 6. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Who needs Babe Ruth? Comiskey telegram nixing a 1914 White Sox deal up for bid," 25 Apr. 2018 Gauging by the many reactions to the message on Twitter, the nation was generally blindsided by the missive. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "President Trump Will Send You a Text Message This Afternoon And There's No Way to Opt Out," 3 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'missive.' 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 missive

circa 1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for missive

Middle French lettre missive, literally, letter intended to be sent

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Statistics for missive

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for missive

The first known use of missive was circa 1553

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English Language Learners Definition of missive

: a letter or other written message


mis·​sive | \ ˈmi-siv \

Kids Definition of missive

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More from Merriam-Webster on missive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for missive

Spanish Central: Translation of missive

Nglish: Translation of missive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of missive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on missive

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


to gather or build up little by little

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