Definition of letterbox in English:



  • 1(chiefly in the UK) a mailbox.

    • ‘Mike had done exactly as instructed and left via the front door putting the key through the letter box.’
    • ‘What did they do with the direct mail when it came through the letter box?’
    • ‘Its only connection seems to be that it has a phone box in front, and a letter box set in the wall.’
    • ‘Later, one of the council dog wardens brought in to look after animal welfare arranged for a slice of chicken to be pushed through the letter box of the front door.’
    • ‘The front door of the house and three other windows were blown out, and a letter box was also destroyed by the blast.’
    • ‘Do not leave keys within reach of the letter box or in a hiding place outside’
    • ‘A lit firework was wedged in the letter box in the front door and blasted part of the door through the living room.’
    • ‘The photographer squats down and says something through the letter box, and the door opens about six inches and we all squeeze in.’
    • ‘There was no vehicle parked outside, there was no bang on the door and no card through the letter box.’
    • ‘After looking through the letter box the youth tried the front door and went inside the house.’
    • ‘The fire had been started by petrol being poured into the house through the letter box in the front door and the petrol being ignited.’
    • ‘A firework was pushed through the letter box of the building and set fire to items of mail, causing smoke damage to the building on Owen Road.’
    • ‘Walking down her long driveway, she paused briefly to check the mail in the letter box before continuing down to the sidewalk.’
    • ‘In Beverley, a firework was pushed through the letter box of a house and exploded in the box, causing damage.’
    • ‘With no reply to a knock at the door, he looked in the letter box.’
    • ‘The council put a note through the letter box stating we are banned from parking outside our houses for the duration to speed up traffic.’
    • ‘He said it was not foreseeable that leaving junk mail half in and half out of a letter box could cause this damage.’
    • ‘He said the building had been fitted out with a letter box and kitchenette.’
    • ‘I attracted a family of dusky flycatchers to an old letter box attached to a wall three metres or so off the ground.’
    • ‘I notice that they do not seem to lose the deluge of junk mail that comes through our letter box, which goes straight into our bin.’
    1. 1.1[usually as modifier]A format for presenting widescreen films on a standard television screen in which the image is displayed in approximately its original proportions across the middle of the screen, leaving horizontal black bands above and below.
      ‘this uncut version is presented in letterbox format’
      • ‘The DVD offers letterbox format, Dolby stereo and a lengthy interview with the real Mitnick.’
      • ‘It is presented in letterbox, in a non-standard aspect ratio, probably pretty close to 1.66: 1.’
      • ‘The size of the picture is scrunched into the so-called letterbox format - apparently it takes more time and money to create the real thing’
      • ‘Unfortunately, VOD probably won't offer movies in letterbox format with extra goodies like DVDs do.’
      • ‘Naturally, you can pop in your DVD movies and watch them in 16: 10 widescreen letterbox format on the gorgeous LCD display.’
      • ‘The special features are presented in a letterbox format (I hesitate to use widescreen in this case), though they are not anamorphic.’
      • ‘So, even on a widescreen TV, you still get the letterbox effect.’
      • ‘The whole game runs in letterbox format, adding to the already cinematic presentation.’
      • ‘Everything about this show screams for that widescreen feel, so why no letterbox?’
      • ‘The inclusion of the two trailers for the film is a nice touch, but they lose some points for full-screen presentation, even on the letterbox side of the disc.’
      • ‘This means these viewers can see a little more of the picture, hinting at its true widescreen glory and imposing only a reduced letterbox effect.’
      • ‘I never saw the miniseries when it originally aired, so I don't know if it was shown in this letterbox version, or if it has been slightly cropped on top and bottom for this DVD release.’
      • ‘This is the second episode presented in a letterbox formant.’
      • ‘The two-player split screen is cropped not at the front and bottom like letterbox but at the two sides vertically.’
      • ‘It is presented in a 1.85: 1 letterbox ratio and while the transfer is clean it is a little soft.’
      • ‘While there is some minor technical noise toward the top left corner of the letterbox, the overall image is amazing.’
      • ‘There was no voice acting in the build we played; letterbox dialogue screens simply display the text.’
      • ‘Early drafts of the screenplay are available on the internet and the film can be viewed in letterbox DVDs and videos that reproduce the dimensions of the original Panavision framing.’


  • Record (a widescreen film) onto video in letterbox format.

    • ‘Most of the clips from the Cinemascope films of the 1950s and 1960s are properly letterboxed.’
    • ‘It took five minutes and three explanations of the dual layer process to discover that what he really wanted to know was if it was letterboxed, because he hated missing parts of the picture with those black bars.’
    • ‘The black and white image is letterboxed at 1.66: 1 (which appears to be the correct framing) and delivers a clean, bright picture with very good shadow detail.’
    • ‘The video transfer is slightly letterboxed and non-anamorphic, and looks about as ugly as any DVD I have ever seen.’
    • ‘I'm not certain how the film was actually shot, but my best guess is that it was filmed full-frame like a television movie, then letterboxed to afford it a more theatrical appearance.’
    • ‘Although Café au Lait has been presented in its original 1.85: 1 aspect ratio, it is letterboxed rather than anamorphic.’
    • ‘This can be done by either letterboxing it within a 1.33: 1 frame or panning and scanning it across a 1.33: 1 frame.’
    • ‘The opening credits sequence is letterboxed in a lovely 1.85: 1 aspect ratio to fit all the words on the screen, but the aspect ratio changes abruptly once the credits are over.’
    • ‘You have the choice of looking at these aquariums in anamorphic widescreen, letterboxed widescreen, or pan-and-scan.’
    • ‘The 1.85: 1 letterboxed trailer is not merely of good technical quality, but an editing marvel of its type.’
    • ‘The deleted scenes are letterboxed, which leads me to wonder if the entire miniseries was originally intended to be presented in widescreen.’
    • ‘Thin horizontal letterboxed shots play up moments of great significance.’
    • ‘Miramax's Region 1 version possesses a pristine transfer, and is widescreen letterboxed in the aspect ratio 1: 1.66.’
    • ‘On the other hand, only the American Pie trailer is properly letterboxed.’
    • ‘The film comes through as 1.85: 1, but is letterboxed into 2.35: 1, something incredibly unfashionable in these days of plentiful anamorphic widescreen transfers.’
    • ‘On larger screens (which became popular around the same time that letterboxed movies became available, which is probably not a coincidence) the image is quite tolerable.’
    • ‘Unfortunately there were minor frame rate issues (which in a 2D game is pretty unacceptable, especially on a machine as powerful as N-Gage), and the screen is letterboxed by default, although this can be changed.’
    • ‘Unlike the series, this feature was letterboxed.’
    • ‘Note, however, that clips from widescreen films are not letterboxed, but are instead presented in pan and scan format.’
    • ‘It should be noted that, if you go into the game's options, you can try to fix the problem by letterboxing the screen so that the camera pans out.’