[ rahyt ]
See synonyms for: writewriteswritingwritten on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),wrote or (Archaic) writ; writ·ten or (Archaic) writ; writ·ing.
  1. 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.

  2. to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of: She wrote to thank us for the hospitality.

  1. to fill in the blank spaces of (a printed form) with writing: to write a check.

  2. to execute or produce by setting down words, figures, etc.: to write two copies of a letter.

  3. to compose and produce in words or characters duly set down: to write a letter to a friend.

  4. to produce as author or composer: to write a sonnet;to write a symphony.

  5. to trace significant characters on, or mark or cover with writing.

  6. to cause to be apparent or unmistakable: Honesty is written on his face.

  7. Computers. to transfer (information, data, programs, etc.) from storage to secondary storage or an output medium.

  8. Stock Exchange. to sell (options).

verb (used without object),wrote or (Archaic) writ; writ·ten or (Archaic) writ; writ·ing.
  1. 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.

  2. to write as a profession or occupation: She writes for the Daily Inquirer.

  1. to express ideas in writing: He wrote about his trip to Borneo.

  2. to write a letter or letters, or communicate by letter: Write if you get work.

  3. to compose or work as a writer or author.

  4. Computers. to transfer into a secondary storage device or output medium.

Verb Phrases
  1. 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.

  2. write in,

    • to vote for (a candidate not listed on the ballot) by writing a full name rather than selecting an option 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. write up,

    • to put into writing, especially in full detail: My boss asked me to write up a report for the meeting on Monday, so I cancelled my plans and worked on it all weekend.

    • to present to public notice in a written description or account.

    • to document a violation, complaint, or charge against, especially in a recommendation for disciplinary action: Is it true that you were written up by your French teacher because you set a classroom dictionary on fire?

    • Accounting. to make an excessive valuation of (an asset).

Origin of write

First recorded 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”

Other words for write

Other words from write

  • mis·write, verb (used with object), mis·wrote, mis·writ·ten, mis·writ·ing.

Words that may be confused with write

Words Nearby write

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use write in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for write


/ (raɪt) /

verbwrites, writing, wrote or written
  1. to draw or mark (symbols, words, etc) on a surface, usually paper, with a pen, pencil, or other instrument

  2. to describe or record (ideas, experiences, etc) in writing

  1. to compose (a letter) to or correspond regularly with (a person, organization, etc)

  2. (tr; may take a clause as object) to say or communicate by letter: he wrote that he was on his way

  3. (tr) informal, mainly US and Canadian to send a letter to (a person, etc)

  4. to write (words) in cursive as opposed to printed style

  5. (tr) to be sufficiently familiar with (a specified style, language, etc) to use it in writing

  6. to be the author or composer of (books, music, etc)

  7. (tr) to fill in the details for (a document, form, etc)

  8. (tr) to draw up or draft

  9. (tr) to produce by writing: he wrote ten pages

  10. (tr) to show clearly: envy was written all over his face

  11. (tr) to spell, inscribe, or entitle

  12. (tr) to ordain or prophesy: it is written

  13. (tr) to sit (an examination)

  14. (intr) to produce writing as specified

  15. computing to record (data) in a location in a storage device: Compare read 1 (def. 16)

Origin of write

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)

Derived forms of write

  • writable, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with write


In addition to the idioms beginning with write

  • write down
  • write in
  • write off
  • write one's own ticket
  • write out
  • write up

also see:

  • nothing to write home about

Also see underwrote.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.