Definition of poison pen letter in English:

poison pen letter


  • An anonymous letter that is libellous, abusive, or malicious.

    • ‘The arsenal of FBI dirty tactics included non-court authorized wiretaps, undercover plants, agent provocateurs, poison pen letters, black bag jobs, and the compiling of secret dossiers.’
    • ‘The poison pen letters were revealed by Hillam News editor Geoff Hall, who said he had decided to publicise them in the village newsletter to reassure recipients they were not alone.’
    • ‘What you've in fact seen is a man who writes poison pen letters, pushes his father down the stairs, sticks a ruler in his mouth, and eventually murders him.’
    • ‘Police have traced the author of a poison pen letter which embroiled a private school in computer porn allegations - but have decided not to prosecute.’
    • ‘Mr Daly claimed he and his family have been subjected to a litany of abuse which has included poison pen letters, abusive phone calls and harassment at their isolated farmhouse at Dooneen, seven miles from Killarney.’
    • ‘The odds of being shot dead by a ruminant must be on a par with being killed by a real poison pen letter.’
    • ‘One of her hospital colleagues sent poison pen letters to one of her supporters, and the university authorities in Toronto threatened to sack her, until David Weatherall and David Nathan intervened.’
    • ‘He is invited to investigate a poison pen letter, hardly the kind of thing that the famous Belgian sleuth should be wasting his talents upon, but he's hanging around the village, wrapping up another case, and needs a playful distraction.’
    • ‘Doesn't this make blogging the modern day equivalent of poison pen letters?’
    • ‘A ‘despicable and sick’ person is circulating poison pen letters in a North Yorkshire village.’
    • ‘FBI agents compiled secret dossiers, illegally wiretapped, used undercover plants and agent provocateurs, sent poison pen letters and staged black bag jobs against black activists and anti-war groups.’
    • ‘Well, he's gonna have enough to do, I've got the YTS trainees in the Public Relations office to send out poison pen letters to everyone!’
    • ‘It follows revelations that Mr Ridsdale had been targeted with a series of poison pen letters threatening himself and his family.’
    • ‘The idea that the great principle of protecting journalistic sources was not designed to apply to the political equivalent of a poison pen letter never seems to occur to them.’
    • ‘The sort of cowards who send anonymous poison pen letters thrive on imagining they speak for the ‘silent majority’.’
    • ‘It's normally not my practice to respond to anonymous poison pen letters.’
    • ‘I had poison pen letters, and it was affecting my family.’


poison pen letter