Etymology
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epistle (n.)

partly from Old English epistol and in part directly from Old French epistle, epistre (Modern French épitre), from Latin epistola "a letter," from Greek epistole "message, letter, command, commission," whether verbal or in writing, from epistellein "send to, send as a message or letter," from epi "to" (see epi-) + stellein in its secondary sense of "to dispatch, send," from PIE *stel-yo-, suffixed form of root *stel- "to put, stand, put in order," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place. Also acquired in Old English directly from Latin as pistol. Specific sense of "letter from an apostle forming part of canonical scripture" is c. 1200.

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Definitions of epistle
1
epistle (n.)
a specially long, formal letter;
2
Epistle (n.)
a book of the New Testament written in the form of a letter from an Apostle;
From wordnet.princeton.edu