Origin of write-off
Definition for write off (2 of 2)
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
British Dictionary definitions for write off (1 of 2)
verb (tr, adverb)
- to cancel (a bad debt or obsolete asset) from the accounts
- to consider (a transaction, etc) as a loss or set off (a loss) against revenues
- to depreciate (an asset) by periodic charges
- to charge (a specified amount) against gross profits as depreciation of an asset
- the act of cancelling a bad debt or obsolete asset from the accounts
- the bad debt or obsolete asset cancelled
- the amount cancelled against gross profits, corresponding to the book value of the bad debt or obsolete asset
British Dictionary definitions for write off (2 of 2)
verb writes, writing, wrote or written
Word Origin for write
Word Origin and History for write off
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 write off (1 of 2)
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]
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.
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]
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)
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.