open letter


Definition of open letter

: a published letter of protest or appeal usually addressed to an individual but intended for the general public

Examples of open letter in a Sentence

In an open letter to the company, a citizens' group implored company executives to reconsider their decision to close the factory.

Recent Examples on the Web

In this suffocating atmosphere, Grossman was asked to sign an open letter from prominent Jews calling for the execution of the killer doctors. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 In his open letter that launched the debate, Macron put forward more than 30 questions and four general themes for the public to focus on: taxes, the organization of state administrations, the environment, and democracy. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Macron asks a restive France: What would you like to change?," 11 Feb. 2019 Their open letter comes after directors Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg reportedly reached out to Emmerich with similar concerns. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Major directors, actors petition Warner Bros. to save FilmStruck," 15 Nov. 2018 The open letter — and how quickly Lei had resigned — encouraged dozens of other women to pen their own letters detailing their allegedly nonconsensual encounters with charity leaders, broadcast TV personalities, and intellectuals. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "#MeToo is growing in China — despite government efforts to stop it," 27 July 2018 In response to Schiff’s departure, work group members penned an open letter to Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Ryan Faircloth, Twin Cities, "Departure of MN DHS employee may impair state opioid response efforts, colleagues fear," 19 June 2019 The school district posted the survey last month, after an open letter from Superintendent Jason Glass said officials were exploring the idea of demolishing the building, where 13 people were killed in a mass shooting in 1999. Ryan Osborne, The Denver Post, "Jeffco survey on proposal to demolish, rebuild Columbine receives nearly 7,000 responses," 19 June 2019 A few days later, her colleague, Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, penned an open letter to the Bohemian Club. Robin Abcarian,, "Why should Sonoma County provide security for an elitist, men-only summer camp?," 14 June 2019 In 2016, Owens wrote an open letter to the Stamford Advocate sharing how racial slurs and death threats from classmates drove her to an eating disorder and therapy. Rochelle Ritchie, The Root, "Candace Owens, Who Thinks Racism Is All in the Past, Got Paid After Suing Over Racist Attacks," 25 Apr. 2018

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

1898, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about open letter

Statistics for open letter

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for open letter

The first known use of open letter was in 1898

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for open letter

open letter


English Language Learners Definition of open letter

: a letter that is published in a newspaper but that is addressed to a well-known person or to an organization

More from Merriam-Webster on open letter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with open letter

Comments on open letter

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


to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
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!