dead letter


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to dead letter: Dead letter mail

dead letter

a statute, law or ordinance that is no longer enforced but has not been formally repealed.
References in periodicals archive ?
At one stage they lived in Bromborough Village Road by Bromborough Police station and used the address of the rape suite, which was directly next door to them, as a dead letter address, he said.
Every year, the staff at Israel Post's dead letter office in Jerusalem receives hundreds of letters addressed to God.
In fact, rather than being a dead letter, the law is the ratification of spontaneity, the means by which the Church ensures fidelity to the holy impulses of her members.
30pm: The Stage, Paradise Place, City Centre 0121 2122524' Battle of the Bands - Deadweight/ Necrotize/Sabaka/ Transmission/ Dead Letter Office, 7.
A POLICEMAN'S wife used the rape suite at a police station as ``a dead letter address'' to fraudulently obtain credit cards, a court heard yesterday.
The proposal is aimed at ensuring that talks do not completely collapse in Bonn, rendering the Kyoto Protocol a dead letter, and preserving the momentum of negotiations.
Victoriana was a dead letter of the law, pictures, heavy silver, bronzes, glass, books - all the things that we rate today, once upon a time were consigned to the rubbish dump.
He adds, "The selections range from material published in the early days of anglophone settler colonies to writing produced in post-independence Africa and Asia at a time when colonialism might seem to be a dead letter, a phenomenon of the historical past of little or no significance in the present.
In ``Dear God,'' he's assigned to do community service at the post office's Dead Letter Office.
Moreover, it would make the rule a dead letter because the loophole is so substantial that, in the words of John Coffe, a professor at Columbia Law School and one of the country's leading corporate governance experts, as reported in the American Banker on December 7, 2005, "(I)t creates not a small loophole, but a loophole the size of the Washington Square Arch.
1969: The restriction "in private" becomes a dead letter at once.
Mr Andrews, speaking after his talks with Mr Trimble, insisted the Mitchell document was not a dead letter, declaring: "It is very much alive.