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

The open letter detailing her allegations was a harrowing document of essentially a whole career fraught with coercion and pain. August Brown,, "Alice Glass and Zola Jesus provide a soundtrack to the #MeToo era," 27 Apr. 2018 In 2014, Farrow penned an open letter detailing Allen's alleged abuse in The New York Times and a similar op-ed for the Los Angeles Times linking the #MeToo movement to Allen last December. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Timothee Chalamet Donates Salary From Woody Allen Film to Time's Up Fund," 16 Jan. 2018 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

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

Share open letter

Statistics for open letter

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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

See 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).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

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

Bee Cubed

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!