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

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

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 The new letter, lost because of an egregious filing error and finally discovered at London's Royal Society, was sent by Galileo to the Roman cleric Piero Dini after the more aggressive missive caused a stir in 1615. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Newfound Galileo Letter Suggests He Lied to Dupe the Church and Avoid Persecution," 25 Sep. 2018 Other missives describe barbaric, Miracle Whip-eating enemy soldiers and pitched battles over Starbucks and Chick-fil-A shops. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Letters from the 'front' on Twitter mock prediction of second Civil War on July 4," 3 July 2018 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

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

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for missive

The first known use of missive was circa 1553

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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

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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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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