Definition of man of letters in US English:

man of letters


  • A male scholar or author.

    • ‘He is a man of letters, and we have had a good deal of literary conversation.’
    • ‘Not only in this country, but in much of Europe, Benjamin Franklin was recognized as a scholar and man of letters.’
    • ‘Sir Walter Scott, Scotland's greatest man of letters, and one of the most beloved authors of all time, was born in Edinburgh on 15 August 1771.’
    • ‘Carlos Fuentes is one of Latin America's most prominent men of letters.’
    • ‘Returning from America, he settled down to the career of a man of letters.’
    • ‘He worked for two decades as a government engineer before beginning a second career as a man of letters.’
    • ‘By the end of the decade, his career was flourishing and he was well on his way to establishing his postwar reputation as a man of letters.’
    • ‘Born in Boston, the son of the physician, poet, and man of letters Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Holmes graduated from Harvard College in 1861.’
    • ‘He was also a man of letters and had a parallel career as a writer, medical biographer, and historian.’
    • ‘In 1851, having already embarked on a successful career as man of letters, he paid his first visit to Europe in the company of his family.’
    intelligent person, learned person, highbrow, academic, bookworm, bookish person, man of letters, woman of letters, bluestocking, thinker, brain, scholar, sage
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