scarlet letter

noun

Definition of scarlet letter 

: a scarlet A worn as a punitive mark of adultery

Examples of scarlet letter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And yet even from the desk of his Emmy-winning studio show, his empty ring finger is waved like a scarlet letter for all to see. Mitch Goldich, SI.com, "Ringz Culture: Are Championships All That Matter?," 13 June 2018 Paul carried an unwieldy scarlet letter of an NBA record with him into the Toyota Center on Tuesday: 86 consecutive postseason games without a conference finals appearance. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "Chris Paul's Conference Finals Elephant Has Left the Room," 8 May 2018 That might be a scarlet letter Kelsey wears forever. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Who could be next in line to lead Xavier basketball if Chris Mack leaves for Louisville?," 27 Mar. 2018 This scarlet letter will drive him crazy — or, perhaps one should say, crazier. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "The GOP Is About to Tumble Into Full-scale Panic," 13 Dec. 2017 While Jackson still carries the scars (and something of a scarlet letter) from the incident, Timberlake has been welcomed back to America's biggest stage with open arms. Alexa Shouneyia, Billboard, "Here's Why Justin Timberlake Needs to Bring Back Janet Jackson to the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show: Op-Ed," 25 Oct. 2017 In the post-FBI investigation world, merely being involved in college basketball carries with it the scarlet letter of corruption, which should give those who chose it as their profession plenty of incentive to clean it up. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "ACC coaches see scandal as 'an opportunity' for changes, but solutions are complicated," 25 Oct. 2017

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

1850, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scarlet letter

from such a letter in the novel The Scarlet Letter (1850) by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The first known use of scarlet letter was in 1850

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