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2 definitions found
 for Letters of administration
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Letter \Let"ter\, n. [OE. lettre, F. lettre, OF. letre, fr. L.
     littera, litera, a letter; pl., an epistle, a writing,
     literature, fr. linere, litum, to besmear, to spread or rub
     over; because one of the earliest modes of writing was by
     graving the characters upon tablets smeared over or covered
     with wax. --Pliny, xiii. 11. See Liniment, and cf.
     Literal.]
     1. A mark or character used as the representative of a sound,
        or of an articulation of the human organs of speech; a
        first element of written language.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              And a superscription also was written over him in
              letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew. --Luke
                                                    xxiii. 38.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. A written or printed communication; a message expressed in
        intelligible characters on something adapted to
        conveyance, as paper, parchment, etc.; an epistle.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The style of letters ought to be free, easy, and
              natural.                              --Walsh.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. A writing; an inscription. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              None could expound what this letter meant.
                                                    --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. Verbal expression; literal statement or meaning; exact
        signification or requirement.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              We must observe the letter of the law, without doing
              violence to the reason of the law and the intention
              of the lawgiver.                      --Jer. Taylor.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              I broke the letter of it to keep the sense.
                                                    --Tennyson.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. (Print.) A single type; type, collectively; a style of
        type.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Under these buildings . . . was the king's printing
              house, and that famous letter so much esteemed.
                                                    --Evelyn.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. pl. Learning; erudition; as, a man of letters.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     7. pl. A letter; an epistle. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     8. (Teleg.) A telegram longer than an ordinary message sent
        at rates lower than the standard message rate in
        consideration of its being sent and delivered subject to
        priority in service of regular messages. Such telegrams
        are called by the Western Union Company day letters, or
        night letters according to the time of sending, and by
        The Postal Telegraph Company day lettergrams, or night
        lettergrams.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     Dead letter, Drop letter, etc. See under Dead, Drop,
        etc.
  
     Letter book, a book in which copies of letters are kept.
  
     Letter box, a box for the reception of letters to be mailed
        or delivered.
  
     Letter carrier, a person who carries letters; a postman;
        specif., an officer of the post office who carries letters
        to the persons to whom they are addressed, and collects
        letters to be mailed.
  
     Letter cutter, one who engraves letters or letter punches.
        
  
     Letter lock, a lock that can not be opened when fastened,
        unless certain movable lettered rings or disks forming a
        part of it are in such a position (indicated by a
        particular combination of the letters) as to permit the
        bolt to be withdrawn.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              A strange lock that opens with AMEN.  --Beau. & Fl.
  
     Letter paper, paper for writing letters on; especially, a
        size of paper intermediate between note paper and
        foolscap. See Paper.
  
     Letter punch, a steel punch with a letter engraved on the
        end, used in making the matrices for type.
  
     Letters of administration (Law), the instrument by which an
        administrator or administratrix is authorized to
        administer the goods and estate of a deceased person.
  
     Letter of attorney, Letter of credit, etc. See under
        Attorney, Credit, etc.
  
     Letter of license, a paper by which creditors extend a
        debtor's time for paying his debts.
  
     Letters close or Letters clause (Eng. Law.), letters or
        writs directed to particular persons for particular
        purposes, and hence closed or sealed on the outside; --
        distinguished from letters patent. --Burrill.
  
     Letters of orders (Eccl.), a document duly signed and
        sealed, by which a bishop makes it known that he has
        regularly ordained a certain person as priest, deacon,
        etc.
  
     Letters patent, Letters overt, or Letters open (Eng.
        Law), a writing executed and sealed, by which power and
        authority are granted to a person to do some act, or enjoy
        some right; as, letters patent under the seal of England.
        The common commercial patent is a derivative form of
        such a right.
  
     Letter-sheet envelope, a stamped sheet of letter paper
        issued by the government, prepared to be folded and sealed
        for transmission by mail without an envelope.
  
     Letters testamentary (Law), an instrument granted by the
        proper officer to an executor after probate of a will,
        authorizing him to act as executor.
  
     Letter writer.
        (a) One who writes letters.
        (b) A machine for copying letters.
        (c) A book giving directions and forms for the writing of
            letters.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  letters of administration
      n 1: legal document naming someone to administer an estate when
           no executor has been named

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