write-off

[ rahyt-awf, -of ]
/ ˈraɪtˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun

a cancellation from the accounts as a loss.
an uncollectable account.
a reduction in book value; depreciation.
Informal. a person or thing that is given up as hopeless or pointless: Joe's college career is a write-off.

Origin of write-off

First recorded in 1745–55; noun use of verb phrase write off

Definition for write off (2 of 2)

write

[ rahyt ]
/ raɪt /

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.

Verb Phrases

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 formsmis·write, verb (used with object), mis·wrote, mis·writ·ten, mis·writ·ing.
Can be confusedright rite wright write
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for write off (1 of 2)

write off


verb (tr, adverb)

accounting
  1. to cancel (a bad debt or obsolete asset) from the accounts
  2. to consider (a transaction, etc) as a loss or set off (a loss) against revenues
  3. to depreciate (an asset) by periodic charges
  4. to charge (a specified amount) against gross profits as depreciation of an asset
to cause or acknowledge the complete loss of
to send a written order for (something)she wrote off for a brochure
informal to damage (something, esp a car) beyond repair

noun write-off

accounting
  1. the act of cancelling a bad debt or obsolete asset from the accounts
  2. the bad debt or obsolete asset cancelled
  3. the amount cancelled against gross profits, corresponding to the book value of the bad debt or obsolete asset
informal something damaged beyond repair, esp a car

British Dictionary definitions for write off (2 of 2)

write

/ (raɪt) /

verb writes, writing, wrote or written

Derived Formswritable, adjective

Word Origin for 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)
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

Word Origin and History for write off

write


v.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with write off (1 of 2)

write off


1

Reduce an asset's book value to zero because it is worthless, as in The truck was wrecked completely, so we can write it off. [Late 1600s]

2

Cancel from an account as a loss, as in Since they'll never be able to pay back what they owe, let's just write off that debt. [Late 1800s] Also see charge off, def. 2.

3

Regard as a failure or worthless, as in There was nothing to do but write off the first day of our trip because of the bad weather, or She resented their tendency to write her off as a mere housewife. [Late 1800s]

4

Amortize, as in We can write off the new computer network in two years or less. Also see charge off, def. 2.

Idioms and Phrases with write off (2 of 2)

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.