Definition of write in English:

write

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Mark (letters, words, or other symbols) on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement.

    ‘he wrote his name on the paper’
    ‘Alice wrote down the address’
    [no object] ‘he wrote very neatly in blue ink’
    • ‘The other two dutifully got out pencil and paper and wrote numbers one to ten down the side.’
    • ‘Longson walked up, took a pencil, and wrote down a name on the piece of paper, folded it, and handed it to Bradley.’
    • ‘Logan, still smiling humorously at him, took out a piece of paper and pencil and wrote down everything he asked for and more.’
    • ‘The wizard wrote a symbol onto the tiny parchment and tossed it into the center of their small circle.’
    • ‘In contrast to the full page of notebook paper the words were written on, what was said was short.’
    • ‘The head waitress asked Peter to write the word on a piece of paper.’
    • ‘Words were then written lengthwise along the baton, one letter on each revolution of the strip.’
    • ‘Mr. Hiniky pulled a yellow slip of paper from a drawer, then wrote a few words on it before handing it to Alex.’
    • ‘I lay there, watching discreetly, pencil firmly in hand, but not writing a single word.’
    • ‘If you don't have pieces of paper or placards, write these words on your hands and on your faces.’
    • ‘From this time on he lectured sitting down while a student wrote on the blackboard for him.’
    • ‘To prove it, she wrote the first word on the paper.’
    • ‘He faithfully wrote every word on the palm of his hand.’
    • ‘I folded a large piece of paper in half and wrote the words they told me on the left side.’
    • ‘The following words were written on a strip of paper I found on the floor at work today.’
    • ‘I rolled my eyes and wrote another word on the paper.’
    • ‘I have always been wondering why nobody ever wrote down what you did.’
    • ‘She led him to a clearing where a group of shaman chanted around a fire writing strange symbols in the smoke.’
    • ‘More importantly, there are words written beneath the pictures in the heading.’
    • ‘This is exchanged for a slip of paper on which the artist has written the words ‘received with thanks’.’
    put in writing, write down, put down, put in black and white, commit to paper, jot down, note, note down, make a note of, set down, take down, mark down, record, register, log, list, make a list of, inscribe, sign, scribble, scrawl, pencil
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object]Have the ability to mark down coherent letters or words.
      ‘he couldn't read or write’
      • ‘Literate peasants might find themselves on trial as much for their ability to read and write as for the uses to which they put this knowledge.’
      • ‘The school has been awarded the Basic Skills Quality Mark for reading, writing, spelling and number work.’
      • ‘Around 5 million people in the UK can't read or write.’
      • ‘The majority of people stake claim based on their ability to read and write; they find it difficult to speak in English.’
      • ‘Figures published last week showed alarming gaps in children's ability to read and write.’
      • ‘There's no theory, so a simple ability to read and write is all you need.’
      • ‘Even if a parent can't read or write themselves, they should put any personal embarrassment about their own literacy problems to one side and ensure that their child learns the skills.’
      • ‘As we get older we learn to read and write and hopefully pronounce the words correctly in whatever language we are raised.’
      • ‘A stroke can affect your ability to read and write and even if you can talk, sometimes the words don't come out in the correct order.’
      • ‘Thereafter, lacking the ability to read and write, they were unable to cope with an education that assumed the existence of these skills.’
      • ‘It is clear that higher education is a sector predicated upon the ability to read and write accurately.’
      • ‘There are still people leaving school without the ability to read or write.’
      • ‘These articles remind readers that literacy means the ability to both read and write as the latter is often forgotten.’
      • ‘The ability to read and write is the measure usually taken as a key indicator of a country's economic and social advancement.’
      • ‘For example, a child who found it difficult to read or write without making mistakes might have the ability to sing or dance quite well.’
    2. 1.2Fill out or complete (a sheet, check, or similar) in this way.
      ‘he had to write a check for $800’
      • ‘Apparently you can write cheques on anything, with anything.’
      • ‘The moral of this story is: only write the cheques you can cash that day.’
      • ‘The President got his chequebook out and wrote a cheque for $100.’
      • ‘The defendant then says he told the husband immediately after writing the cheques.’
      • ‘Imagine you could write cheques that were accepted as payment but never cashed.’
      • ‘Some leading business figures are not content with writing cheques when it comes to charity and prefer a more hands on approach.’
      • ‘I just wrote the cheque for the Professional Legal Studies course.’
      • ‘I was invited to sit down and was immediately told who to write my cheque out to with a laminated sheet of details and conditions.’
      • ‘The business just writes a cheque for child support, for the student loan, for all those bits and pieces, and the payroll agent deals with the paperwork.’
      • ‘Many people have been handing over money and writing cheques to local branches of charities across the region.’
      • ‘But when he couldn't find anyone willing to part with their cash, he just wrote the cheques himself.’
      • ‘My mother has never paid a bill, written a cheque or drawn money from the bank in her life.’
      • ‘So I wrote another cheque that underwent scrutiny for 5 more minutes.’
      • ‘However, last month I wrote a cheque on this account for £5 to my credit-card company, for which funds were available.’
      • ‘I refuse to write a cheque for so small a sum when I can avoid it.’
      • ‘When you write a cheque, you are drawing on your creditworthiness at a bank.’
      • ‘‘I have never written a cheque for my phone bill, it is paid by direct debit,’ he said.’
      • ‘The cheque was written, but obviously no one from the branch checked the details on the cheque.’
      • ‘We find lawyers, work with them to find expert witnesses, and write cheques.’
      • ‘If you pay on a normal credit bill and write a cheque or pay by giro, you can save up to a maximum of 13 per cent if you change to direct debit.’
    3. 1.3[no object]Write in a cursive hand, as opposed to printing individual letters.
      • ‘It was a small white envelope, his address written with golden cursive penmanship.’
      • ‘I picked it up and was mildly surprised to see my name written in perfect cursive across the front.’
      • ‘I looked for a card to give a clue as to who it may be for but I found one with only my name written in cursive.’
      • ‘It was complete with a neon sign of a sliver of a moon, with the name written in glowing blue cursive over it.’
      • ‘A single note on pristine white paper and written in a highly cursive hand lay on the pillow.’
  • 2Compose, write, and send (a letter) to someone.

    ‘I wrote a letter to Alison’
    [with two objects] ‘I wrote him a short letter’
    [no object] ‘he wrote almost every day’
    • ‘He was sent to prison, where he wrote a letter about his plight to the New York Citizen newspaper.’
    • ‘Margaret wrote back saying that I should bring it up in class and acknowledge my feelings.’
    • ‘Laura reached over for her paper and pen and then began to write a letter to send to her father who lived in Tokyo.’
    • ‘That night she finished writing her short letter to James and copied her poem to him onto the same sheet of paper.’
    • ‘He wrote letters and he sent them through a talk show producer and asked the talk show producer to get it to a family member.’
    • ‘I even wrote to the paper explaining these errors but they never wrote back and I'm still waiting for their reply.’
    • ‘Usually, all you need to do is send e-mail or write a letter to the company.’
    • ‘I wrote to him just to say what a great job he was doing and how proud to be a New Zealander he made me, and he took the trouble to write a lovely letter back.’
    • ‘We need to distribute leaflets, write letters, send faxes, talk to people, get the message across and change opinions.’
    • ‘It is impossible to write an honest letter to somebody who may send it on to a third party.’
    • ‘He wrote back saying he loved the song and found nothing objectionable in it.’
    • ‘Once she wrote back telling of an unbelievable class she had in Australia.’
    • ‘I wrote back and I also wrote to her headmaster, whose name appeared on the school letterhead, at a PO box.’
    • ‘Connie was very grateful and wrote a letter from her bed and asked Timmy to send it for her on his next visit.’
    • ‘They wrote letters and sent circulars, mailing seventeen bushels of material relating to the fair on one day alone.’
    • ‘He wrote back saying he was very optimistic that things would change.’
    • ‘Over 80 per cent also sent in comments, with many writing additional letters.’
    • ‘So I wrote the letter and sent it that evening before I went to bed.’
    • ‘He decided to write a letter of his own and to send regards from his crew.’
    • ‘I wrote letters to my mother and she sent me recipes.’
    correspond, write a letter, communicate, get in touch, keep in touch, keep in contact
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1North American Write and send a letter to (someone)
      ‘Mother wrote me and told me about poor Simon's death’
      • ‘Shortly after that visit home, she wrote me to ask if she could borrow $250.’
      • ‘We met because I took out her best friend, and she wrote me to tease me about it.’
      • ‘Next morning he wrote her to come.’
    2. 2.2Write to an organization, especially a broadcasting station, with a question, suggestion, or opinion.
      ‘write in with your query’
      • ‘As regards the framing, lots of people wrote in with similar suggestions.’
      • ‘People are entitled to their opinion and write in to us on a regular basis.’
      • ‘Local residents can write in with their opinions and speak for up to five minutes at the meeting.’
      • ‘A number of our precious readers wrote in saying they didn't believe it was him.’
      • ‘Another task is the keeping of a record of people who wrote in for favours and of favours received.’
      • ‘A number of readers wrote in to ask if I could provide a link for the article in question.’
      • ‘And please, before anyone writes in to suggest that we condone acts of violence, be quite clear, we do not.’
      • ‘I suggest we get as many people as possible to write in with a response so the paper knows it has boobed.’
      • ‘Thanks especially to all of you who wrote in with your kind words and your criticism.’
      • ‘Thanks to all those who heard about my new gig, and wrote in with their best wishes.’
      • ‘It is a situation which has compelled me to write in to your publication to voice my opinion.’
      • ‘This did not please one correspondent who wrote in to tick me off.’
      • ‘What about everyone who enjoyed his work and never wrote in because they never felt it necessary?’
      • ‘After each new edition, hundreds write in with suggestions and the occasional correction.’
      • ‘A meeting was held at the school and parents were invited to write in with suggestions for alternative names.’
      • ‘Thanks to everyone who wrote in asking if everything was all right.’
      • ‘I'd like to thank the couples who wrote in for clearing that up for me.’
  • 3Compose (a text or work) for written or printed reproduction or publication; put into literary form and set down in writing.

    ‘I didn't know you wrote poetry’
    [no object] ‘he wrote under a pseudonym’
    ‘he had written about the beauty of Andalucia’
    • ‘I was so impressed - a novel written in English about the Geisha world.’
    • ‘Not content with just voicing his creativity through music, Enik has also commenced writing a book of poetry.’
    • ‘The lyrics were written by poets of great literary stature.’
    • ‘The opportunity also facilitated mentoring students to write an article for publication.’
    • ‘Aside from his published books, he wrote articles which bristled with wit.’
    • ‘I'm the only president whose ever written a novel and I've written a book of poetry in the past as well.’
    • ‘We know he was interested in American literature, for he wrote an essay each on Whitman and Thoreau.’
    • ‘He literally wrote a book on the subject, shortly after his second daughter, Justine, was born.’
    • ‘During his lifetime Blake wrote many volumes of poetry and religious philosophy, and was an accomplished artist and engraver.’
    • ‘He writes books of poetry but his contact with classical music had been rather limited thus far.’
    • ‘I wrote books and published articles and eventually got a tenure-track job at a good university.’
    • ‘She has written five books of poetry and a clip file shows she has been receiving accolades for years.’
    • ‘In the process he made some of the most beautiful poems ever written in the English language.’
    • ‘During the nineteenth century almost all poets wrote poetry in dramatic form.’
    • ‘He's been at it for decades and has written a magnificent text book which he's currently rewriting.’
    • ‘Apart from being a reporter and magazine editor, he wrote literary works that were famous in Japan.’
    • ‘Such fiction seems to be almost entirely translated from novels originally written in English.’
    • ‘While in prison, he has written five books of poetry and has contributed to several periodicals.’
    • ‘It seemed an appropriate year to write a diary for publication.’
    • ‘She said rural Ireland inspired her and she wrote pages of poetry about the landscape and the people.’
    compose, draft, create, invent, think up, draw up, formulate, compile, put together, pen, dash off, produce
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Compose (a musical work)
      ‘he has written a song specifically for her’
      • ‘Long before he wrote his first song, he was already demonstrating formidable musical skills.’
      • ‘As a dramatist, he's currently writing a musical based on the entire songbook.’
      • ‘The tune was written for the 1945 musical Carousel, which Jane and her friends were rehearsing at the time.’
      • ‘The act was formed two years ago when the girls were given an assignment to write a song with harmonies.’
      • ‘Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children.’
      • ‘Recently he's also started to compose and write his own songs.’
      • ‘We think the lyricist was a musical comedian and the song was written about 1900, maybe slightly earlier.’
      • ‘There are some wonderful musical works written by composers who were perhaps not so great as people.’
      • ‘He's already scheduled to begin writing his own musical with a local composer.’
      • ‘Young wrote these songs for the times in which they were composed and the albums on which they appeared.’
      • ‘Contestants were chosen for musical aptitude, and most write songs and play instruments.’
      • ‘Now I don't think a composer who is actually writing a piece of music should be conscious of self-expression.’
      • ‘I think it's much harder to write a successful musical than a successful play.’
      • ‘He has written songs for a West End musical and regularly acted on stage and TV.’
      • ‘I've also finished writing a musical - a very different type of thing.’
      • ‘When Gershwin was writing the musical, he told her that he had written the part of Bess for her.’
      • ‘Next he wants to write a musical, something he's been planning to do for years.’
      • ‘Does your writing process change when you write a musical as opposed to the other plays you've crafted?’
    2. 3.2Add or remove a character to or from (a long-running story or series)
      • ‘Would you like me to write you out of the story altogether?’
      • ‘Brother Richard has taken a pensmith's revenge by writing Brother Stuart out of the film, portraying himself as an only child.’
      • ‘I went up to see it and said to Paul at dinner afterwards: ‘Can't we write Prospero into the first act a bit more?’
      • ‘He added, ‘I'm starting to think they want to write me out of the series for next season.'’
      • ‘It meant he had to wrack his brains over how to write Jeff out of the story - he was, after all, Steve's best mate.’
    3. 3.3archaic Describe in writing.
      ‘if I could write the beauty of your eyes’
      • ‘Write with the knowledge of death on your shoulder, write the beauty of the red leafed begonia, remember winter, write with compassion.’
      • ‘If all the water of the oceans became ink, it will not be enough to write the Greatness of Allah.’
      • ‘To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry.’
  • 4Computing
    Enter (data) into a specified storage medium or location in store.

    • ‘The application can seek, read, an write bytes to the stream as it is a local file.’
    • ‘The main reason for this is that virus - and spyware authors - write malware for the most common platform.’
    • ‘Storage should write data to compliant volumes at the same speed as other volumes.’
    • ‘Details are written to a file named after the IP address of the Ethernet on each ARM.’
    • ‘Every time a host application writes a transaction to the local disk storage subsystem, a data protection appliance writes it in parallel to the local compatible appliance.’
  • 5Underwrite (an insurance policy)

    • ‘Our policies had been extended for two months because the insurance company employee who wrote them had gone on vacation.’
    • ‘You could have an action like this early on in the liquidation of an insurance company that wrote long-tail insurance.’
    • ‘Insurers write policies, thus transferring risks customers face to themselves.’
    • ‘We only have five malpractice insurance companies writing policies in northeast Ohio.’
    • ‘The doctors found that no established insurer would write them a policy - at any price.’

Phrases

  • be nothing to write home about

    • informal Be very mediocre or unexceptional.

      • ‘It got mediocre but promising ratings in the first season - nothing to write home about, but enough to warrant a second season.’
      • ‘There are several tea houses and eating establishments which appear interesting but on the whole offer nothing to write home about.’
      • ‘The ambience is nothing to write home about: just over a dozen seats in a small, sparsely decorated white room.’
      • ‘The mushrooms were nothing to write home about.’
      • ‘The story's nothing to write home about - a family gathers for the laying to rest of their mother and sister who has just died.’
      • ‘The support band was alright, nothing to write home about.’
      • ‘The coral cover was nothing to write home about and the usual reef fish-life seemed poor.’
      • ‘The quality of the cooking was nothing to write home about, but considering that it was a Sunday and the kitchen was probably running at half-kilter, one could certainly eat worse food at a greater cost in many other restaurants.’
      • ‘Rooms are plantation-style, a tad on the small side and nothing to write home about, although the restaurant, a fusion of French and Creole, is a definite winner.’
      • ‘Alas, most of the food is nothing to write home about: the salad dressing is quite bland, the shrimps are fresh though boring, and, incredibly, garlic is nowhere to be found.’
      tedious, dull, monotonous
      View synonyms
  • be (or have something) written all over one (or one's face)

    • informal Used to convey that the presence of a particular quality or feeling is clearly revealed by a person's expression.

      ‘guilt was written all over his face’
      • ‘He most certainly has leadership material written all over him.’
      • ‘Vicky spoke out, excitement clearly written all over her face.’
      • ‘He saw her jaw tighten with recognition and determination; mistrust clearly written all over her features.’
      • ‘They seemed to me to have trouble written all over them.’
      • ‘But personally I still think he's got winner written all over him.’
      • ‘Sam stared at me, surprise clearly written all over her face.’
      • ‘They looked up to see her looming over them, with a stern expression written all over her face.’
      • ‘Four of the five goals had quality written all over them, several of the points were also out of the top drawer, and there were several individual performances on both sides that further embellished this magnificent game.’
      • ‘She started running, panic clearly written all over her face.’
      • ‘Jamie could clearly see that anguish was written all over his face.’
  • be written in stone

  • (and) that's all she wrote

    • informal Used to convey that there is or was nothing more to be said about a matter.

      ‘we were arguing about who should pay the bill, but he pulled out a couple of hundreds and that's all she wrote’
      • ‘‘Make the call, hold the cassette recorder to the handset, press the play button and that's all she wrote,’ he says.’
      • ‘When you get hit with a perfect body shot, that's all she wrote.’
      • ‘Soon planes spilled off of the carriers and that's all she wrote.’
      • ‘Someone pops a vial and pour it into a cocktail and that's the end of the story, that's all she wrote.’
      • ‘‘The Hurt of It All ‘voices the poet's farewell, saying ‘that's all she wrote.’’
      • ‘One flat on the way back and that's all she wrote.’
      • ‘A couple of pizzas and some cold beers and that's all she wrote.’
      • ‘When trouble breaks out here, that's all she wrote till morning.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • write something down

    • 1Reduce the nominal value of stock or goods.

      • ‘Following poor sales, stocks had been written down by £288,000 on 31 March.’
      • ‘How far those assets have been written down over the years, no one knows.’
      • ‘Specific stocks were written down to fair value if an impairment in the value of the entire stock portfolio was considered to be other than temporary.’
      • ‘As a result, over $82 million of borrowings were written down to $20 million and the company will be able to keep going for another bit.’
      • ‘The stocks had been written down and a book profit was realisable.’
    • 2Write as if for those considered inferior.

  • write someone in

    • (when voting) add the name of someone not on the original list of candidates and vote for them.

      • ‘The Chronicle and several other local papers exposed the plan after an 18-year old was recruited to run, but then changed his mind when he found out that he had been written in as a Democratic candidate.’
      • ‘I shook his hand just before the primary up here and told him I was a registered Republican and I was writing him in on my ballot.’
      • ‘Even though his name wasn't on the ballot, he was written in by nearly half of the voters.’
      • ‘After all, he waits until almost the very last minute of the election to run, avoiding months of bashing and media scrutiny to simply say ‘I'm the alternative, write me in.’’
  • write something off

    • 1Dismiss someone or something as insignificant.

      ‘the boy had been written off as a nonachiever’
      • ‘We looked more confident today and I think sometimes it is easier to play confidently when everyone is writing you off.’
      • ‘I'm proud because I don't think I was encouraged, and a lot of people wrote me off.’
      • ‘We know everyone is writing us off but we haven't got a clue why and we just want to go out and prove people wrong.’
      • ‘The football world wrote us off as another lower league casualty, but we did not give up.’
      • ‘People wrote him off, and yet he refused to leave the storyline.’
      • ‘The boxing world wrote him off as another beautiful loser; then he met and married Teresa and made a comeback.’
      • ‘No-one gave us a chance and when we were five points down at half-time everyone wrote us off but the team went out in the second half and won by five.’
      • ‘Some people have been writing us off, but we just have to believe in ourselves.’
      • ‘But the boys were up for it, mainly because we had been written off and it was the last chance to win anything.’
      • ‘The critics have been writing me off for 20 years.’
      disregard, regard as finished, consider unimportant, dismiss, ignore
      View synonyms
    • 2Cancel the record of a bad debt; acknowledge the loss of or failure to recover an asset.

      ‘he urged the banks to write off debt owed by poorer countries’
      • ‘What percentage of investments will be written off over the coming months?’
      • ‘Tax receipts are down, as assets have been written off, so less money is coming into the Treasury coffers.’
      • ‘Rather than report it as fraud, they simply write it off as a bad debt.’
      • ‘Three years later the entire investment was written off as a loss.’
      • ‘Half the cost of each apartment can be written off against income by owner-occupiers.’
      • ‘Some debts are written off, although creditors are reluctant to do so.’
      • ‘Marine projects were written off as total losses.’
      • ‘The essential problem is that as fast as bad debts are written off new ones are created by the deflationary contraction in the economy.’
      • ‘He tells clients to avoid other debt like credit card or revolving debt and instead use their home equity line of credit, because the interest expense can be written off in most cases.’
      • ‘The capital cost of certain premises can be written off against the purchaser's income over a number of years.’
      forget about, disregard, give up on, give up for lost, cancel, annul, nullify, wipe out, cross out, score out
      View synonyms
  • write something up

    • 1Write a full or formal account of something.

      ‘I was too tired to write up my notes’
      • ‘A reporter who first comes up with an investigative story idea, writes it up and submits it to the editor and is told the story is not going to run.’
      • ‘But many others come from very intelligent people who have a lot of good ideas but don't quite know enough about how science works to connect them to real science, to research and write them up properly, and to get them tested and evaluated.’
      • ‘The journalist in The Chronicle wrote them up today and reported on inconsistency over several visits.’
      • ‘Once that report has been written up it will be available to everybody.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, this plan backfired and a description of this implement was written up and published!’
      • ‘The police reports to Crown counsel recommending charges were written up that night and the two individuals were held in custody for court.’
      • ‘The results of the initial round of interviews were written up with detailed descriptions of the cases.’
      • ‘To avoid this, owners need to take notes at each meeting, write them up, and e-mail them to the builder and architect.’
      • ‘Stacey also argues that, when the research is written up, it is the feminist ethnographer's interpretations and judgements that come through and that have authority.’
      • ‘If you see a major or even minor local event, write it up and send your account, along with any pictures you capture on your mobile phone or digital camera.’
      1. 1.1Make entries to bring a diary or similar record up to date.
        ‘he wrote up a work journal which has never been published’
        • ‘Both observers took notes to remind them of key events and used an observation grid to write these notes up in more detail later.’
        • ‘And what I did was collect the stories during the daytime and I wrote them up on the lap-top in the evening.’
        • ‘Field notes from home visits were written up after leaving the site.’
        • ‘We have to keep on writing notes up every time National changes its leadership, and I do not think we want to do it anymore.’
        • ‘His recollections were written up in a diary which has been kept by his daughter Mary.’
    • 2Increase the nominal value of stock or goods.

      • ‘You don't have to issue a quarterly balance sheet and you never "wrote up" the value of your asset in the first place.’
      • ‘The company paid more than book value and wrote up the value of the assets in these transactions.’
      • ‘At a pen's stroke he wrote up the value of the patent to a flat $1000000.’

Origin

Old English wrītan score, form (letters) by carving, write of Germanic origin; related to German reissen sketch, drag.

Pronunciation:

write

/rīt/