Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A written message; a letter. See Synonyms at letter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A written message; a letter, note or memo.
  • n. One who is sent; a messenger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Specially sent; intended or prepared to be sent.
  • adj. Missile.
  • n. That which is sent; a writing containing a message.
  • n. One who is sent; a messenger.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sent or proceeding, as from some authoritative or official source.
  • Thrown or hurled; missile.
  • n. That which is sent; specifically, a written message; a letter; especially, in Scots law, a letter interchanged between parties, in which the one party offers to enter into a contract on certain conditions, and the other party accepts the offer, completing the contract.
  • n. A person sent; a messenger.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a written message addressed to a person or organization

Etymologies

From Middle English (letter) missive, (letter) sent (by superior authority), from Medieval Latin (litterae) missīvae, feminine pl. of missīvus, sent, from Latin missus, past participle of mittere, to send.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
15th Century; from Medieval Latin missivus, from mittere ("to send"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We can do the Moon with that amount of money and our missive is at least one way to do that.

    Why the Moon? Here's Why. - NASA Watch

  • Therefore the purpose of this missive is to look at where many in society see our future going, and to show where space either supports the positive aspects or negates the negative ones.

    NASA Watch: May 2009 Archives

  • But even the most finely crafted missive is only as effective as its subject lines -- the teaser (50 characters or less) that convinces a recipient to open the message in the first place.

    How To Write A Compelling E-Mail Subject Line

  • Once again, another dismissive missive from the Clinton campaign.

    Clinton advisor blames strategy disagreements, money for loss

  • But voters also need to know the context in which the donation was given, and today's missive from the Clinton campaign doesn't even really try.

    The Contributor Gotcha Game - Swampland - TIME.com

  • The folks at Holy Moly received a missive from the law offices of Elliot J. Abelson.

    RNB Roundup for Aug. 5, 2008

  • I have just received a missive from the delightful Simmone Howell telling me that Scatterheart has been sighted in the wild!

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • I just got a missive from the Harpo folks letting me know about tomorrow's Oprah:

    ReFreyed Oprah

  • Now, his sappily sweet missive is amusing conservators at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia.

    Will U B Mine?

  • The anxious missive is among documents included in the 1.2 million military personnel files the National Archives will open to the public Saturday for the first time.

    Archive 2005-06-01

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