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  • Noun




Glen wrote Merry a missive or letter describing his love for her every day for a month. His lengthy, heartfelt, and thoughtful notes or missives arrived each afternoon, which Merry read with evident delight. After the arrival of Glen’s final missive or written message, Merry bought a plane ticket and traveled to Australia to see him in person.

Quiz: What is the purpose of a missive?

  • To communicate an important message in writing.
  • To secretly plan an attack on an enemy force.
  • To send a visual warning of an approaching army.

Memory Hook

Give Permission I need to handwrite an official missive to my boss for her to give me permission to take a personal day off of work.


  • A professor with his nose deep in a library archive in London has stumbled upon 47 previously unknown letters from, to and about Benjamin Franklin. . . . He was shocked to see that the first such letter was a copy of one written by Benjamin Franklin to the secretary of the governor of Maryland. He had never seen the missive before. —Chicago Tribune
  • Toshiba Corp. fired another legal missive at manufacturing partner Western Digital Corp., warning the U.S. company to stop its “harassment” as the Japanese company tries to sell its flash memory business. Toshiba sent a letter to Western Digital's chief legal officer on Wednesday forcefully reasserting its right to auction off the business in which the two companies hold certain assets together. —Bloomberg
  • Like his direct predecessor, Pickett has indicated he will issue a newsletter to keep us informed of Raleigh’s inner workings. That’s a good start, and we hope to find this missive regular and pinpointing a High Country defender championing the needs of the 93rd District. —Watauga Democrat
  • Staff also discovered evidence of a long-lost romance: a few time-worn, handwritten love letters. As BBC News reports, the Scarborough Historical and Archaeological Society (SHAC), which is working with the hotel to assess the find, estimates that the missives date to between 1941 and 1944. —Smithsonian Magazine

Word Ingredients

miss sent
-ive of or that which does something

A missive is a form of communication “sent” in the mail.

Word Theater

B. Smyth - Letter He's writing his love a missive.

Word Constellation