[ rahyt-in ]
/ ˈraɪtˌɪn /
Save This Word!

a candidate or vote for a candidate not listed on the printed ballot but written onto it by the voter: Write-ins may swing the election.
of, relating to, or for such a candidate or vote or a ballot so marked: a write-in campaign.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of write-in

First recorded in 1930–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use write-in in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for write-in

write in

verb (tr)
to insert in (a document, form, etc) in writing
(adverb) to write a letter to a company, institution, etc
(adverb) US
  1. to vote for (a person not on a ballot) by writing in his name
  2. to cast (a vote) for such a person by writing in his name
noun write-in US
the act of voting for a person by writing his name on a ballot
a candidate or vote that has been written in
(as modifier)a write-in campaign
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

write in


Cast a vote by inserting a name not listed on the ballot, as in He asked them to write in his name as a candidate. [c. 1930]


Insert in a text or document, as in Please don't write in your corrections on the printed pages, but list them separately. [Late 1300s]


Communicate with an organization by mail, as in Listeners are being asked to write in their requests. [1920s]

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