• synonyms


See more synonyms for handwriting on Thesaurus.com
  1. writing done with a pen or pencil in the hand; script.
  2. a style or manner of writing by hand, especially that which characterizes a particular person; penmanship: an eccentric handwriting.
  3. a handwritten document; manuscript.
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  1. handwriting on the wall, a premonition, portent, or clear indication, especially of failure or disaster: The company had ignored the handwriting on the wall and was plunged into bankruptcy.Also writing on the wall.
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Origin of handwriting

1375–1425; late Middle English hand writyng; see hand + writing
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for writing on the wall


  1. writing by hand rather than by typing or printing
  2. a person's characteristic writing stylethat signature is in my handwriting
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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 writing on the wall



c.1500, from hand (n.) + writing, translating Latin manuscriptum. Hand in the sense of "handwriting, style of writing" is from late 14c.

An ordinary note in his [Horace Greeley's] handwriting is said to have been used for a long time as a railroad pass, then as a servant's recommendation, and finally taken to a drug-store as a doctor's prescription. ["Frank Leslie's Magazine," August 1884]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with writing on the wall

writing on the wall

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