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.
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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

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]
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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.
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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

to the ˈletter

with attention to every detail; exactly: I followed your instructions to the letter.
See also: letter

to the letter

To the last detail; exactly: followed instructions to the letter.
See also: letter
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
As Grimshaw says in her introduction to the letters, "The Webb correspondence lays bare both the scope and the limitations of an individual personality.
In addition to the letters, Sanchez was sent a bright memento of their postal relationship: a wooden cylinder that Kaczynski had carefully carved, stained and painted.