Epistle



[ih-pis-uh l] /ɪˈpɪs əl/

noun
1.
a letter, especially a formal or didactic one; written communication.
2.
(usually initial capital letter) one of the apostolic letters in the New Testament.
3.
(often initial capital letter) an extract, usually from one of the Epistles of the New Testament, forming part of the Eucharistic service in certain churches.
/ɪˈpɪsəl/
noun
1.
a letter, esp one that is long, formal, or didactic
2.
a literary work in letter form, esp a dedicatory verse letter of a type originated by Horace
/ɪˈpɪsəl/
noun
1.
(New Testament) any of the apostolic letters of Saints Paul, Peter, James, Jude, or John
2.
a reading from one of the Epistles, forming part of the Eucharistic service in many Christian Churches
n.

Old English epistol, from Old French epistle, epistre (Modern French épitre), from Latin epistola “letter,” from Greek epistole “message, letter, command, commission,” whether verbal or in writing, from epistellein “send to,” from epi “to” (see epi-) + stellein in its secondary sense of “to dispatch, send” from PIE *stel-yo-, suffixed form of root *stel- “to put, stand,” with derivatives referring to a standing object or place (see stall (n.1)).

Also acquired in Old English directly from Latin as pistol. Specific sense of “letter from an apostle forming part of canonical scripture” is c.1200.

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