- a formal order under seal, issued in the name of a sovereign, government, court, or other competent authority, enjoining the officer or other person to whom it is issued or addressed to do or refrain from some specified act.
- (in early English law) any formal document in letter form, under seal, and in the sovereign's name.
- something written; a writing: sacred writ.
Origin of writ1
- a simple past tense and past participle of write.
- 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.
- 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.
- write down,
- to set down in writing; record; note.
- to direct one's writing to a less intelligent reader or audience: He writes down to the public.
- write in,
- to vote for (a candidate not listed on the ballot) by writing his or her name on the ballot.
- to include in or add to a text by writing: Do not write in corrections on the galley.
- to request something by mail: If interested, please write in for details.
- write off,
- to cancel an entry in an account, as an unpaid and uncollectable debt.
- to regard as worthless, lost, obsolete, etc.; decide to forget: to write off their bad experience.
- to amortize: The new equipment was written off in three years.
- write out,
- to put into writing.
- to write in full form; state completely.
- to exhaust the capacity or resources of by excessive writing: He's just another author who has written himself out.
- write up,
- to put into writing, especially in full detail: Write up a report.
- to present to public notice in a written description or account.
- Accounting.to make an excessive valuation of (an asset).
Origin of write
SynonymsSee more synonyms for write on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for writ
Writ in its history are all the ills and passions of the past century.Glenn Beck Is Now Selling Hipster Clothes. Really.
Ana Marie Cox
December 20, 2014
McCain said additional economic sanctions against Russia writ large were also called for.Exclusive: McCain Tells Obama How to Punish Putin
March 2, 2014
Baghdadi is unlikely to comply, and Zawahiri has long been unable to enforce his writ on the Iraqi branch of al Qaeda.Al Qaeda’s Most Dangerous Stronghold
November 11, 2013
It is the isolation of rural America writ in bricks and mortar.George W. Bush ‘Comes Out’ As Artist
February 8, 2013
And we saw that same desire to be free in Tunisia, where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator.Obama's State of the Union Speech Transcript
The Daily Beast
January 26, 2011
I'm Mr Chatterton, sir; and now, out with your writ—whose suit?
His handwriting does not run quite as far as the queen's writ in this country yet.In the Midst of Alarms
I see why, at this late day, she had started up and writ me a letter.Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 1.
Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
Pull it out, please, me hand's that dirty'—and out come the writ!The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
A great question was writ large upon his intelligent countenance.The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
- law (formerly) a document under seal, issued in the name of the Crown or a court, commanding the person to whom it is addressed to do or refrain from doing some specified actOfficial name: claim
- archaic a piece or body of writingHoly Writ
- archaic, or dialect a past tense and past participle of write
- writ large plain to see; very obvious
- 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)
- (tr; may take a clause as object) to say or communicate by letterhe wrote that he was on his way
- (tr) informal, mainly US and Canadian to send a letter to (a person, etc)
- to write (words) in cursive as opposed to printed style
- (tr) 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)
- (tr) to fill in the details for (a document, form, etc)
- (tr) to draw up or draft
- (tr) to produce by writinghe wrote ten pages
- (tr) to show clearlyenvy was written all over his face
- (tr) to spell, inscribe, or entitle
- (tr) to ordain or prophesyit is written
- (tr) to sit (an examination)
- (intr) to produce writing as specified
- computing to record (data) in a location in a storage deviceCompare read 1 (def. 16)
- (tr) Compare underwrite (def. 3a)
Word Origin and History for writ
Old English writ "something written, piece of writing," from the past participle stem of writan (see write). Used of legal documents or instruments since at least 1121.
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.
Idioms and Phrases with writ
In addition to the idioms beginning with write
- write down
- write in
- write off
- write one's own ticket
- write out
- write up
- nothing to write home about
Also see underwrote.