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[rahyt-doun] /ˈraɪtˌdaʊn/
noun, Accounting.
a reduction of the entered value of an asset account.
the procedure of reducing the recorded value of an asset, either by estimate or as a plan.
Origin of write-down
First recorded in 1930-35; noun use of verb phrase write down


[rahyt] /raɪt/
verb (used with object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; written or (Archaic) writ; writing.
to trace or form (characters, letters, words, etc.) on the surface of some material, as with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means; inscribe:
Write your name on the board.
to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of.
to fill in the blank spaces of (a printed form) with writing:
to write a check.
to execute or produce by setting down words, figures, etc.:
to write two copies of a letter.
to compose and produce in words or characters duly set down:
to write a letter to a friend.
to produce as author or composer:
to write a sonnet; to write a symphony.
to trace significant characters on, or mark or cover with writing.
to cause to be apparent or unmistakable:
Honesty is written on his face.
Computers. to transfer (information, data, programs, etc.) from storage to secondary storage or an output medium.
Stock Exchange. to sell (options).
to underwrite.
verb (used without object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; written or (Archaic) writ; writing.
to trace or form characters, words, etc., with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means, or as a pen or the like does:
He writes with a pen.
to write as a profession or occupation: She writes for the Daily Inquirer.
to express ideas in writing.
to write a letter or letters, or communicate by letter:
Write if you get work.
to compose or work as a writer or author.
Computers. to write into a secondary storage device or output medium.
Verb phrases
write down,
  1. to set down in writing; record; note.
  2. to direct one's writing to a less intelligent reader or audience:
    He writes down to the public.
write in,
  1. to vote for (a candidate not listed on the ballot) by writing his or her name on the ballot.
  2. to include in or add to a text by writing:
    Do not write in corrections on the galley.
  3. to request something by mail:
    If interested, please write in for details.
write off,
  1. to cancel an entry in an account, as an unpaid and uncollectable debt.
  2. to regard as worthless, lost, obsolete, etc.; decide to forget:
    to write off their bad experience.
  3. to amortize:
    The new equipment was written off in three years.
write out,
  1. to put into writing.
  2. to write in full form; state completely.
  3. to exhaust the capacity or resources of by excessive writing:
    He's just another author who has written himself out.
write up,
  1. to put into writing, especially in full detail:
    Write up a report.
  2. to present to public notice in a written description or account.
  3. Accounting. to make an excessive valuation of (an asset).
before 900; Middle English writen, Old English wrītan; cognate with Old Saxon wrītan to cut, write, German reissen to tear, draw, Old Norse rīta to score, write
Related forms
miswrite, verb (used with object), miswrote, miswritten, miswriting.
Can be confused
right, rite, wright, write.
6. compose, pen, author, draft, create. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for write down
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We let the air pass through our closed teeth and we write down "S."

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • I therefore will write down with God's help the little that I know.

    Albert Durer T. Sturge Moore
  • I had made some progress, and had grown able to write down a simple thought.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Will you write down a message and leave it in his letter-box?

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • "Good-bye, Tommy," I said—and then something more which I do not wish to write down.

British Dictionary definitions for write down

write down

verb (adverb)
(transitive) to set down in writing
(transitive) to harm or belittle by writing about (a person) in derogatory terms
(intransitive; foll by to or for) to write in a simplified way (to a supposedly less cultured readership)
(transitive) (accounting) to decrease the book value of (an asset)
(accounting) a reduction made in the book value of an asset


verb writes, writing, wrote, written
to draw or mark (symbols, words, etc) on a surface, usually paper, with a pen, pencil, or other instrument
to describe or record (ideas, experiences, etc) in writing
to compose (a letter) to or correspond regularly with (a person, organization, etc)
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to say or communicate by letter: he wrote that he was on his way
(transitive) (informal, mainly US & Canadian) to send a letter to (a person, etc)
to write (words) in cursive as opposed to printed style
(transitive) to be sufficiently familiar with (a specified style, language, etc) to use it in writing
to be the author or composer of (books, music, etc)
(transitive) to fill in the details for (a document, form, etc)
(transitive) to draw up or draft
(transitive) to produce by writing: he wrote ten pages
(transitive) to show clearly: envy was written all over his face
(transitive) to spell, inscribe, or entitle
(transitive) to ordain or prophesy: it is written
(transitive) to sit (an examination)
(intransitive) to produce writing as specified
(computing) to record (data) in a location in a storage device Compare read1 (sense 16)
(transitive) Compare underwrite (sense 3a)
Derived Forms
writable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wrītan (originally: to scratch runes into bark); related to Old Frisian wrīta, Old Norse rīta, Old High German rīzan (German reissen to tear)
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 write down



Old English writan "to score, outline, draw the figure of," later "to set down in writing" (class I strong verb; past tense wrat, past participle writen), from Proto-Germanic *writanan "tear, scratch" (cf. Old Frisian writa "to write," Old Saxon writan "to tear, scratch, write," Old Norse rita "write, scratch, outline," Old High German rizan "to write, scratch, tear," German reißen "to tear, pull, tug, sketch, draw, design"), outside connections doubtful. Words for "write" in most I.E languages originally mean "carve, scratch, cut" (cf. Latin scribere, Greek grapho, Sanskrit rikh-); a few originally meant "paint" (cf. Gothic meljan, Old Church Slavonic pisati, and most of the modern Slavic cognates).

For men use to write an evill turne in marble stone, but a good turne in the dust. [More, 1513]
To write (something) off (1680s) originally was from accounting; figurative sense is recorded from 1889. Write-in "unlisted candidate" is recorded from 1932.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with write down

write down

Set down in writing, record, as in Please write down your new address and phone number. [ Late 1500s ]
Reduce in rank, value, or price, as in They've written down their assets. [ Late 1800s ]
Write in a simple or condescending style, as in These science texts are written down for high-school students. [ Second half of 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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