pen pal


Definition of pen pal 

: a friend made and kept through correspondence

Examples of pen pal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Grab a pen Have kids write letters to friends or family members to your kids, or help them find a pen pal, possiblyat a local senior center. Zafreen Jaffery, Ed.d., miamiherald, "Bake cookies. Head to the library. Ways to keep your child's brain sharp during the summer," 27 June 2018 Bly advocates for Tanner, as does Anthony Alston, who became Tanner’s pen pal when he was deployed in the Army. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Gary boxer convicted of leading gang was denied clemency by Obama, now seeks release under Trump," 6 July 2018 Now, Jacob's spirit lives on as his many pen pals remember the boy who loved Christmas — and penguins. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "UPDATE: 9-Year-Old Cancer Patient Who Asked for Christmas Cards Passed Away This Weekend," 20 Nov. 2017 To commemorate the pilot program, the president sent a letter on the flight to Ileana Yarza, a Havana woman who had become his pen pal. Mimi Whitefield, miamiherald, "U.S., Cuba decide to make direct mail service permanent," 1 June 2018 Some 211 senior volunteers participated in the pen pals program this year. Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How do you reach across generations? With a pen. Some paper. And an open heart.," 28 May 2018 After winter break, Barbara Pierce went back to school in the South, but the two became pen pals. Time, "See Barbara and George H.W. Bush's Historically Long Love Story in Photos," 17 Apr. 2018 Throughout his life, Manson acquired a bizarre celebrity status, attracting fanatical followers, pen pals and collectors of his jail-cell creations. Matthew Haag, Anchorage Daily News, "Charles Manson's remains will go to purported grandson, judge rules," 13 Mar. 2018 Throughout his life, Mr. Manson acquired a bizarre celebrity status, attracting fanatical followers, pen pals and collectors of his jail-cell creations. Matthew Haag, New York Times, "Charles Manson’s Remains Will Go to Purported Grandson, Judge Rules," 12 Mar. 2018

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

1925, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pen pal

Dictionary Entries near pen pal




pen pal

pen palsy

pen picture

pen point

Statistics for pen pal

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pen pal

The first known use of pen pal was in 1925

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pen pal

pen pal


English Language Learners Definition of pen pal

: a person (such as someone in a foreign country) who you exchange letters with even though you have never met

pen pal


Kids Definition of pen pal

: a friend known only through letter writing

More from Merriam-Webster on pen pal

Spanish Central: Translation of pen pal

Comments on pen pal

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!