Definition of chain letter in English:

chain letter


  • One of a sequence of letters, each recipient in the sequence being requested to send copies to a specific number of other people.

    • ‘In the money chain letter, a recruiter sends new recruits a letter with a list of names on it, including the recruiter's name at the bottom of the list.’
    • ‘The chain letter conscientiously maintained the five different footers from previous senders, all advising me that the ‘message is for the named person's use only.’’
    • ‘This has all done seemingly nothing, however, as the same chain letter still circulates the internet in varying forms.’
    • ‘According to the chain letter: ‘No one can predict how much and how long the outage could be for.’’
    • ‘Therefore, eventually, irrespective of how big or broad the pyramid scheme is, or whether it takes the form of a chain letter, or whether it is sold by an agent or a scheme, fundamentally it must collapse.’
    • ‘The ‘pyramid’ scheme works in the style of a chain letter, with organisers asking people to sign up, pay them a sum of money then find other ‘recruits’ to do the same.’
    • ‘Wives of North Yorkshire businessmen may have lost thousands of pounds after being targeted by a chain letter that plays on the idea of female independence.’
    • ‘Since e-mail replaced the chain letter as the preferred means of spreading popular myth, it has spread everything from false virus alerts to dubious promises of Nigerian riches.’
    • ‘It's a chain letter or e-mail that's been doing the rounds for some time now.’
    • ‘Ten years ago, if you had a boycott, you might send out a chain letter or harass some poor secretary in headquarters somewhere.’
    • ‘Is it like a chain letter where you all copy it and expect twenty others to do the same?’
    • ‘I'd better not use the email for it as I suspect it might be against our corporate email policy - it would count as a chain letter.’
    • ‘The extent of the couple's protest was to circulate a chain letter denouncing Planned Parenthood, which is hardly a dramatic or especially newsworthy tactic.’
    • ‘The chain letter asks residents to send a £10 gift to a person named on a list before adding their name to the list and forwarding it to 200 local people.’
    • ‘A mother whose son died of meningitis is warning businesses in Swindon not to respond to a chain letter that asks for compliment slips to be sent to a boy dying of cancer.’
    • ‘I heard from someone who was worried by the arrival of a chain letter that promised all sorts of good luck if she passed it on, dire predictions if she didn't.’
    • ‘But York police said today the leaflets were completely bogus, and appeared to be rather like a self-perpetuating chain letter which had been circulating for years elsewhere before reaching York.’
    • ‘The above article is a chain letter that has been floating around the Internet for years now.’
    • ‘It got away with moving money around for several decades, but, like a chain letter, the scheme had to end.’
    • ‘I think it's a rotten idea to publicize this with a chain letter (the original note asks you to tell ten friends and ask them to do the same), but the principle is sound.’


chain letter