mis·​sive | \ ˈmi-siv How to pronounce missive (audio) \

Definition of missive

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Part of winning retweets and likes is sending missives your community will love. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The problem with Twitter, as shown by the Sarah Jeong fracas," 8 Aug. 2018 From social media missives to statements from publicists, everyone was excited to be embraced by the Television Academy. Libby Hill, latimes.com, "Lin-Manuel Miranda, RuPaul, Tiffany Haddish and more react to Emmy nominations," 12 July 2018 The insurgents released a lengthy missive in five languages, including English, saying the fighting would continue while foreign forces remain in Afghanistan. Amir Shah, The Seattle Times, "Taliban declare start of spring offensive amid talks with US," 12 Apr. 2019 The Saturday tweet struck a friendlier tone than some of the missives Mr. Trump has fired off at companies such as Ford Motor Co. and Amazon.com Inc . Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Trump Presses Apple to Shift Production to U.S.," 9 Sep. 2018 So far, she's received missives from dogs all over the world. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Terminally Ill Girl in Wisconsin Just Wants Letters From Your Dog," 28 Feb. 2019 An anonymous missive may not make its point, and will most likely leave the target feeling embarrassed and alienated. Rob Walker, The Seattle Times, "When a co-worker is driving you crazy," 6 Aug. 2018 The shorter missive reflects changes in GE itself, which has had three CEOs in three years, can only afford to pay a token dividend and is breaking itself apart. Inti Pacheco, WSJ, "GE CEO Letters Decoded: Shrinking Ambitions and Disappearing Buzzwords," 1 Mar. 2019 The congressman would not reveal the letter’s author, most probably E. D. Cope, the missive a ploy by Hayden’s people to sow doubt about the Academy’s recommendations. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about missive

Statistics for missive

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for missive

The first known use of missive was circa 1553

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for missive



English Language Learners Definition of missive

formal + humorous : a letter or other written message


mis·​sive | \ ˈmi-siv How to pronounce missive (audio) \

Kids Definition of missive

Keep scrolling for more

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).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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