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[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).
Origin of write
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 out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • write out 'Our Father' and the 'Creed' three times, you little heathen.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • I'll write out the cheque as soon as the waiters clear away the débris.

    One Day's Courtship Robert Barr
  • Then I will write out the charm from your dictation, he said.

    Charmides Plato
  • I will carry your just complaint to the cardinal; will you write out your petition?

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • Now, I want you to write out a report of this case for my private use.

  • But I'm afraid I'll have to write out the death warrants for all these men and women.

    The Black Star Passes John W Campbell
British Dictionary definitions for write out

write out

verb (transitive, adverb)
to put into writing or reproduce in full form in writing
to exhaust (oneself or one's creativity) by excessive writing
to remove (a character) from a television or radio series


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 out



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 out

write out

Express in writing, especially in full form. For example, Write out your request on this form, or No abbreviations allowed; you have to write everything out. [ Mid-1500s ]
write oneself out. Exhaust one's energies or abilities by writing too much, as in He's been doing a novel a year for ages, but now he's written himself out. [ Early 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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