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 to guild members, Wells urged members to vote for dissident candidate Phyllis Nagy for president, and endorsed her slate, including secretary-treasurer candidate Nick Jones Jr. and eight people for the board . Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, "WGA’s former President John Wells endorses dissident candidate Phyllis Nagy," 1 Sep. 2019 Within days, Plank responded with an open letter to the city, which appeared as a full-page advertisement in The Baltimore Sun and stressed personal and brand values such as diversity, equal rights and opportunity. Lorraine Mirabella,, "Under Armour’s Plank defends Baltimore in social media post," 29 July 2019 Twenty-eight ocean scientists recently sent an open letter to the ISA raising their concerns. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Deep-Sea Snail Builds Its Own Ironclad Suit of Armor. But Even That Can’t Protect It From Ocean Mining," 26 July 2019 Last month, nearly 250 civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups sent an open letter demanding decriminalization and other steps to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the GOP minority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Julian Castro would repeal illegal entry as a crime. Is that an 'open borders' policy?," 6 July 2019 The school’s president, Rob Bridges, and the chairman of its board, Matt Cohoat, announced the decision in an open letter to the ‘‘Cathedral Family.’’ Cathedral High School was founded in 1918. Katie Mettler,, "Catholic school fires gay teacher so it can stay in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis," 24 June 2019 In an open letter to PEOPLE, Bathe says that corporal punishment was the norm growing up. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Why Ryan Michelle Bathe and Husband Sterling K. Brown Chose Not To Spank Their Kids," 20 June 2019 In petitions and open letters on social media, hundreds have indicated their endorsement by sharing photos of their civil service staff cards, with their names covered. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Next to Protest Against Hong Kong’s Government: Its Employees," 1 Aug. 2019 Today, Durbin was in the Loop talking about a bipartisan bill to curb soaring insulin prices and Lightfoot — who penned an open letter in the Washington Post to Trump denouncing the sweeps — was in New York for a global conference for mayors. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: For a second day, Chicago awaits immigration raids and nation watches Trump vs. ‘the squad’," 16 July 2019

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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Statistics for open letter

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

More from Merriam-Webster on open letter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with open letter

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concealment of treason or felony

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