A written message; a letter. See Synonyms at letter.
[From Middle English (letter) missive, (letter) sent (by superior authority), from Medieval Latin (litterae) missīvae, feminine pl. of missīvus, sent, from Latin missus, past participle of mittere, to send.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.