to the letter


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to the letter

Exactly as something is written or instructed. You must follow the instructions to the letter, or your application won't be considered. We did everything to the letter, but something still went wrong.
See also: letter
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

to the letter

exactly as instructed; exactly as written. I didn't make an error. I followed your instruction to the letter. We didn't prepare the recipe to the letter, but the cake still turned out very well.
See also: letter
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

to the letter

Precisely, as in If you follow the directions to the letter, you can't go wrong. Letter here refers to the exact terms of some statement. [c. 1800]
See also: letter
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

to the letter

COMMON If you follow instructions, rules, or advice to the letter, you carry them out exactly in every detail. These chemicals can be dangerous, so follow the instructions to the letter. Even if that international agreement is followed to the letter, the ozone layer won't recover fully until the year 2060.
See also: letter
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

to the letter

with adherence to every detail.
The French equivalent of this phrase is au pied de la lettre , which has been used in English since the late 18th century.
See also: letter
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

to the ˈletter

with attention to every detail; exactly: I followed your instructions to the letter.
See also: letter
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

to the letter

To the last detail; exactly: followed instructions to the letter.
See also: letter
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Company A will not pledge any assets or collateral to the letter of credit's issuer.
Be aware that you still can make changes to the letters, such as editing the recipient list or excluding recipients by selecting the appropriate function.
During the service, participants will respond to the letters with a sung refrain, accompanied by a drum "heartbeat," and "several beats of stillness." They will then read Scripture and prayer and in closing, be invited to light candles from the Advent wreath and say aloud or silently the names of those they know who are affected by HIV/AIDS.
Indeed, the endnotes to the letters in all of the volumes under review do an admirable job of identifying the personages mentioned in the text -- no small task, given the vast cast of officials, ambassadors, courtiers, and hangers-on who inhabited the space of the Sforza court.
In the rush to obtain financing, owners should pay careful attention to the letters of intent or commitments letter issued by lenders.
As Grimshaw says in her introduction to the letters, "The Webb correspondence lays bare both the scope and the limitations of an individual personality." With varying levels of success, then, these two texts offer James himself as a lesson in dialectics.