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[hand-rahy-ting] /ˈhændˌraɪ tɪŋ/
writing done with a pen or pencil in the hand; script.
a style or manner of writing by hand, especially that which characterizes a particular person; penmanship:
an eccentric handwriting.
a handwritten document; manuscript.
handwriting on the wall, a premonition, portent, or clear indication, especially of failure or disaster:
The company had ignored the handwriting on the wall and was plunged into bankruptcy.
Also, writing on the wall.
Origin of handwriting
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English hand writyng; see hand + writing


[hand-rahyt] /ˈhændˌraɪt/
verb (used with object), handwrote or (Archaic) handwrit; handwritten or (Archaic) handwrit; handwriting.
to write (something) by hand.
First recorded in 1840-50; back formation from handwriting Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for handwriting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I have not imitated your handwriting in the letter to Jarwin.

    Red Money Fergus Hume
  • "But I have the letter in your own handwriting," pleaded the captain.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • Carmina received a letter, bearing the Italian postmark, but not addressed to her in Teresa's handwriting.

    Heart and Science Wilkie Collins
  • "This is not so good an imitation of my handwriting as the other letter," he added.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • The manner of the handwriting was itself characteristic of kind consideration for her untrained readers.

British Dictionary definitions for handwriting


writing by hand rather than by typing or printing
a person's characteristic writing style: that signature is in my handwriting
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for handwriting

c.1500, from hand (n.) + writing, translating Latin manuscriptum. Hand in the sense of "handwriting, style of writing" is from late 14c.

An ordinary note in his [Horace Greeley's] handwriting is said to have been used for a long time as a railroad pass, then as a servant's recommendation, and finally taken to a drug-store as a doctor's prescription. ["Frank Leslie's Magazine," August 1884]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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