Definition of rewrite in English:



  • Write (something) again so as to alter or improve it.

    ‘the songs may have to be rewritten’
    [no object] ‘he began rewriting, adding more and more layers’
    • ‘I had lunch, wrote the bare bones of the piece, e-mailed it to the office, drove to HQ, and rewrote the piece.’
    • ‘Before we did anything we wrote and rewrote the script until we felt what we had got written down was a really good story.’
    • ‘During 1920 he rewrote it and published it privately in 1922.’
    • ‘He rewrote school history curriculums to place greater emphasis on the military's historical role.’
    • ‘I wrote, edited, deleted and rewrote this post ten times already today.’
    • ‘In 1911 he rewrote the story as a full length novel called Peter & Wendy.’
    • ‘I was disappointed that the media covering the symposium only rewrote the press release.’
    • ‘It was like someone had rubbed out what they had written and rewrote it, but bigger.’
    • ‘I just wrote a nice long e-mail to someone about a potential business deal, and I wrote it and rewrote it at three times.’
    • ‘LS helped in writing and rewriting the paper and contributed additional ideas to the manuscript.’
    • ‘He begins rewriting his speech as news of the second impact, and thus suspected terrorist collusion, reaches him.’
    • ‘He sits huddled in a corner, writing his name, erasing it and rewriting it.’
    • ‘Songs like ‘Growing With Love’ were written by Ty, but arranged in such a way that we all rewrote sections of them together in the studio.’
    • ‘We had a final draft and David rewrote things based on who was cast and where we were.’
    • ‘I first wrote it as a one-act play in Kannada and have kept on writing and rewriting it over the years.’
    • ‘I wrote in a separate journal and rewrote it into my diary when I got back.’
    • ‘A reader rewrote the ending to our version of ‘Those Were the Days’.’
    • ‘It took me ages to write this chapter I rewrote it 4 times because I just wasn't happy with it, it felt forced.’
    • ‘They wrote vision statements and then rewrote them, soliciting input from people inside and outside the business.’
    • ‘He tried writing an opera called Leonore, but failed so he rewrote it as Fidelio.’
    revise, recast, rework, reword, rephrase, redraft, rescript
    View synonyms


  • 1An instance of writing something again so as to alter or improve it.

    • ‘However, the end product betrays a number of clumsy rewrites commissioned by the New Line production trust so the story could be packaged in the sellable format of a policemen buddy movie.’
    • ‘If some rewrites are needed, Microsoft is really good at being corrected and taking advice.’
    • ‘So today I give you the bare essentials: no rewrites, no revisions, and pretty much no forethought.’
    • ‘Rewrote this four times already, so I'm going to leave the next rewrite for when I edit.’
    • ‘Necropolis Awakened needed a rewrite and a recasting to work as something special.’
    • ‘Correspondents chafed at the numerous, often contradictory, rewrites demanded by producers.’
    • ‘The manual could use a through rewrite, reorganization, and editing to make the English understandable, but who reads the manual anyway?’
    • ‘It takes four solid years of overdubs, rewrites, and revisions - not to mention several label dalliances - to finish their third album, The Meadowlands.’
    • ‘This, the company's Peter Bondar tells us, involves a complete rewrite rather than minor adjustments.’
    • ‘They demanded rewrites, and the production did not pick up for several months.’
    • ‘The coordinating committee at that time predicted that the next revision would be a rewrite in 1997-8, so a new version is overdue.’
    • ‘Duncan Kenworthy demanded 20 rewrites from screenwriter Richard Curtis on Four Weddings and a Funeral.’
    • ‘The college holidays have commenced, and I'm into the late stages of rewrites - and yes, I'm aware that that still isn't interesting, as I promised it would be.’
    • ‘Roger and I are signed on to do any rewrites necessary.’
    • ‘The writing process in question is now over, barring unexpected pre-publication crises as at the weekend I completed the handful of fairly minor rewrites which had been requested by the editor.’
    • ‘This is actually the third book I've worked on for a local doctor and she admits that with this one I will be doing more of a rewrite than an edit.’
    • ‘After the first read-through, the star demands rewrites.’
    • ‘Much of what is worthwhile in La Cava's films can be traced to his working methods: constant rewrites, overlapping dialogue, improvisation.’
    • ‘The punishments are constant: story rewrites or rejections or less prestigious assignments.’
    • ‘He says he expects popular demand to force a rewrite.’
    revision, alteration, change, modification, qualification, adaptation, adjustment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A piece of text that has been altered or improved.
      • ‘But almost all of the goals of the final rewrite on a book like this are practical ones.’
      • ‘It is 500 pages and is a rewrite of the 1989 Public Finance Act.’
      • ‘Won't say anything more about future updates because I'm afraid I'll jinx the rewrite.’
      • ‘Many of Smith's stories are rewrites of Chinese myths and fables, with casts of characters out of his dreamlike human universe.’
      • ‘It looks like it was a simple rewrite of the Sunday Times piece though, so we're still only getting the story from one side.’
      • ‘The first draft will take three or four months, the rewrite will take four or five.’
      • ‘It is the major part of the bill, and if anybody says that the old Act is being thrown out and that the 358-page bill now being brought in is a complete rewrite of the legislation, he or she is incorrect.’
      • ‘I suspect that the rewrite will be quite different from the original, so I will post the rewritten chapters as soon as they are all finished, which could be quite a while.’
      • ‘But the point that we made earlier is that this bill is actually a rewrite, because we had Supplementary Order Paper 107 lodged yesterday at the eleventh hour.’
      • ‘This proved to be a torturous task as many drafts, revisions and rewrites poured out of my head into my PC for weeks on end.’
      • ‘It's a rewrite but the sensibility is all present and correct.’
      • ‘This Seventh Edition represents a complete rewrite of the previous edition culled from suggestions made by students and colleagues in academia and industry.’
      • ‘Each person writes a piece, and then they pass it on and then next person rewrites it and then passes on their rewrite and the next person rewrites that.’
      • ‘The second edition is not simply an update, but a competent rewrite of most chapters, with a few exceptional chapters remaining largely unchanged.’
      • ‘The innocent corruption of scheming, out-of-control teens will always be more compelling than all those witty rewrites of the lives of jaded middle-aged dilettantes who really have no excuse to be so soulless.’
      • ‘I'll be posting new chapters and rewrites here.’
      • ‘Fans of the Adam and Joe Show will recall a warped rewrite of The Royle Family using Star Wars figures.’
      • ‘At last Stephen Berkoff, the enfant terrible of Fringe theatre, has gone for the big one: a rewrite of the New Testament.’
      • ‘By the final chapter, you realise you've been reading a crazy rewrite of The Maltese Falcon.’
      • ‘As you can see, this chapter was a MAJOR rewrite.’


  • rewrite history

    • Select or interpret events from the past in a way that suits one's own particular purposes.

      • ‘Thomas himself was not above trying to change the meaning of events and rewrite history.’
      • ‘You could argue that the revolution was a form of domestic terrorism which was victorious, and it rewrote history to make us the revolutionaries who threw off the burden of Britain.’
      • ‘Our purpose is not to rewrite history but, rather, to learn from our past and to find ways to deal with the negative impacts that certain historical decisions continue to have in our society today.’
      • ‘While only those select few who participated in the project know for certain the course of events, there are no obvious signs that Mishkin is rewriting history.’
      • ‘No longer can she rewrite history to suit her politician's vanity or her increasingly erratic moods.’
      • ‘We can rewrite history, but the present will always return to haunt us.’
      • ‘Is it more offensive to rewrite history within the living memory of those who were present than it is to inaccurately portray historical events that occurred long before our time?’
      • ‘It is said that each generation rewrites history to suit itself and it seems likely that the chronicles might have overlooked a few things about the world, as great-granddad knew it.’
      • ‘A global corporation has its own set of values and priorities, and thus would be forced to rewrite history to suit its vendors and dealers.’
      • ‘It's as if we wait for another rail tragedy to act as confirmation of our worst fears, and when one happens we rewrite history to present it as a disaster in the making.’
  • rewrite the record books

    • (of an athlete) break a record or several records.

      • ‘It was no longer enough for her or her supporters that she should just run well; she should also rewrite the record books.’
      • ‘Mind you Phil Stephenson rewrote the record books by setting a time of 3mins 10 secs - he's looking sharp.’
      • ‘One of the most legendary figures in the history of American sports, Abdul-Jabbar spent his NBA career rewriting the record books following All-America careers at New York's Power Memorial High School and at UCLA.’
      • ‘Even as a junior, the Welsh cycling sensation was rewriting the record books, winning four world titles in the space of a year.’
      • ‘His awesome talent, good looks and attacking style of play have helped rewrite the record books and take the sport to unprecedented heights of popularity across the world.’
      • ‘Even the New York Knicks' Richie Guerin, the high scorer on the other team the day Wilt rewrote the record books, collected two more points than the combined Pistons-Lakers total.’
      • ‘Suddenly the also-ran was rewriting the record books, running times that were tenths of seconds faster than anything in history.’
      • ‘The crowd roared their approval as one of Irish racing's greatest favourites rewrote the record books yet again and Pat Smullen repeatedly waved his whip in triumph.’
      • ‘In Kimberley Western Province rewrote the record books with a 68-24 victory over Griquas at Absa Park after leading 28-7 at half-time.’
      • ‘Pioneer rewrote the record books by becoming the first girls' team in Michigan's illustrious swimming history to win the prestigious national title.’