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 an open letter published by the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, many of the Italian actress' peers defended her against online bullies. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Stars Defend Asia Argento in Open Letter About Anthony Bourdain's Suicide," 13 July 2018 The case has deeply divided writers, editors, and academics, who have sparred in thoughtful open letters published in the Chronicle of Higher Education and in a barbed back-and-forth on social media. Stephanie Ebbert,, "Junot Díaz case may be a #MeToo turning point," 30 June 2018 More than 550 of the county’s 3,800 workers signed an open letter to Johnson County voters expressing support for Zacharias as their boss. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "The vote was unanimous: She’s now Johnson County’s new manager," 12 July 2018 Now, models who signed the open letter are calling for a legally binding contract, called the RESPECT Program, between models, agencies, designers, and publishing companies to hold people accountable for the mistreatment of models. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Models Want a Legally Binding Contract Against Sexual Harassment," 16 May 2018 Amid the national uproar over immigrant arrests and detentions, nearly 2,000 students, faculty and alumni have signed an open letter demanding the contract be spiked immediately. Fox News, "Protesters targeting Northeastern over $2.7M ICE contract," 11 July 2018 In a seething open letter, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner refused the invitation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and voiced her support for her expelled husband, director Roman Polanski. Jake Coyle, The Seattle Times, "Seigner, Polanski’s wife, refuses film academy invitation," 9 July 2018 In an extensive open letter Xia apologised for a lack of communication to supporters after a turbulent number of weeks saw both the chief executive Keith Wyness and director of football Steve Round leave the club., "Aston Villa Owner Releases Lengthy Open Letter to Fans to 'Clarify' Financial Difficulties," 7 July 2018 The magazine’s decision to keep Díaz on staff—defended in an open letter written by the editors-in-chief—prompted three of its poetry editors to resign in protest. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Junot Díaz Says He Regrets Statement Apologizing for Sexual Misconduct, Denies Allegations," 3 July 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.

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First Known Use of open letter

1898, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for open letter

The first known use of open letter was in 1898

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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

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