- 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.
Origin of writ1
verb (used with object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; writ·ten or (Archaic) writ; writ·ing.
verb (used without object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; writ·ten or (Archaic) writ; writ·ing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Synonyms for write
Related Words for writsummons, decree, process, prescript, paper, command, subpoena, mandate, document, warrant, replevin
Examples from the Web for writ
Contemporary Examples of 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
Historical Examples of writ
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
Word Origin for writ
verb writes, writing, wrote or written
Word Origin for write
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.
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.