scarlet letter


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 From Rodeo Drive to Madison Avenue to Via Monte Napoleone, retail’s main thoroughfares are littered with landmines, and the wrong move can leave the casual shopper not with a status symbol but with a scarlet letter. Max Berlinger, Town & Country, "How to Stretch Your Fashion Dollar for the Greater Good," 9 Sep. 2020 Still, the felony conviction remained Mr. Kerik’s scarlet letter. Dan Barry, New York Times, "Kerik Had ‘Hit Bottom.’ Then Trump Pardoned Him.," 26 Feb. 2020 On the road to Hangzhou, officers at two highway exits saw his digital scarlet letter and stopped him from taking the exit. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "In Coronavirus Fight, China Gives Citizens a Color Code, With Red Flags," 1 Mar. 2020 For seasoning, sprinkle in such themes as the fragility of reputation and the indelible stain of an Internet scarlet letter. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "A new play asks: Should the Internet let you erase your past bad acts?," 28 Oct. 2019 To Stafford, who would have shed the scarlet letter and cemented his status as the best Lions QB since Bobby Layne (yes, one playoff win would do that). Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions: Solving the greatest 'What ifs' of the 2010s decade," 27 Dec. 2019 But, more importantly, Avila’s ability to speak English was seen as an asset instead of as a scarlet letter. Gustavo Solis, Los Angeles Times, "Tijuana’s call centers offer a lifeline to deportees struggling to live in Mexico," 28 Sep. 2019 But, more importantly, Avila’s ability to speak English was seen as an asset instead of a scarlet letter. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tijuana’s call centers offer a lifeline to deportees struggling to live in Mexico," 27 Sep. 2019 By all accounts, Antjuan has learned from his father’s mistakes, proving the sins of a father do not automatically transfer to a child like a scarlet letter passed down from generation to generation. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "MSU player's dad lived secret life as drug dealer. Now he cheers for son from prison," 29 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for scarlet letter

Time Traveler

The first known use of scarlet letter was in 1850

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Statistics for scarlet letter

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scarlet letter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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