Definition of write in US 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’
    • ‘I folded a large piece of paper in half and wrote the words they told me on the left side.’
    • ‘From this time on he lectured sitting down while a student wrote on the blackboard for him.’
    • ‘I lay there, watching discreetly, pencil firmly in hand, but not writing a single word.’
    • ‘I have always been wondering why nobody ever wrote down what you did.’
    • ‘The following words were written on a strip of paper I found on the floor at work today.’
    • ‘The head waitress asked Peter to write the word on a piece of paper.’
    • ‘If you don't have pieces of paper or placards, write these words on your hands and on your faces.’
    • ‘The other two dutifully got out pencil and paper and wrote numbers one to ten down the side.’
    • ‘Mr. Hiniky pulled a yellow slip of paper from a drawer, then wrote a few words on it before handing it to Alex.’
    • ‘She led him to a clearing where a group of shaman chanted around a fire writing strange symbols in the smoke.’
    • ‘Logan, still smiling humorously at him, took out a piece of paper and pencil and wrote down everything he asked for and more.’
    • ‘I rolled my eyes and wrote another word on the paper.’
    • ‘More importantly, there are words written beneath the pictures in the heading.’
    • ‘The wizard wrote a symbol onto the tiny parchment and tossed it into the center of their small circle.’
    • ‘He faithfully wrote every word on the palm of his hand.’
    • ‘This is exchanged for a slip of paper on which the artist has written the words ‘received with thanks’.’
    • ‘To prove it, she wrote the first word on the paper.’
    • ‘Words were then written lengthwise along the baton, one letter on each revolution of the strip.’
    • ‘In contrast to the full page of notebook paper the words were written on, what was said was short.’
    • ‘Longson walked up, took a pencil, and wrote down a name on the piece of paper, folded it, and handed it to Bradley.’
    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. 1.1no object Have the ability to mark down coherent letters or words.
      ‘he couldn't read or write’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thereafter, lacking the ability to read and write, they were unable to cope with an education that assumed the existence of these skills.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is clear that higher education is a sector predicated upon the ability to read and write accurately.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘As we get older we learn to read and write and hopefully pronounce the words correctly in whatever language we are raised.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 Fill in or complete (a sheet, check, or similar)
      ‘he had to write a check for $800’
      • ‘So I wrote another cheque that underwent scrutiny for 5 more minutes.’
      • ‘We find lawyers, work with them to find expert witnesses, and write cheques.’
      • ‘But when he couldn't find anyone willing to part with their cash, he just wrote the cheques himself.’
      • ‘The President got his chequebook out and wrote a cheque for $100.’
      • ‘Some leading business figures are not content with writing cheques when it comes to charity and prefer a more hands on approach.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘I have never written a cheque for my phone bill, it is paid by direct debit,’ he said.’
      • ‘Apparently you can write cheques on anything, with anything.’
      • ‘However, last month I wrote a cheque on this account for £5 to my credit-card company, for which funds were available.’
      • ‘The moral of this story is: only write the cheques you can cash that day.’
      • ‘When you write a cheque, you are drawing on your creditworthiness at a bank.’
      • ‘I refuse to write a cheque for so small a sum when I can avoid it.’
      • ‘The cheque was written, but obviously no one from the branch checked the details on the cheque.’
      • ‘Imagine you could write cheques that were accepted as payment but never cashed.’
      • ‘I just wrote the cheque for the Professional Legal Studies course.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many people have been handing over money and writing cheques to local branches of charities across the region.’
      • ‘The defendant then says he told the husband immediately after writing the cheques.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My mother has never paid a bill, written a cheque or drawn money from the bank in her life.’
      write out, fill out, fill in, complete, draw up, draft, inscribe
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3no object Write in a cursive hand, as opposed to printing individual letters.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was a small white envelope, his address written with golden cursive penmanship.’
      • ‘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 wrote back saying he was very optimistic that things would change.’
    • ‘Once she wrote back telling of an unbelievable class she had in Australia.’
    • ‘Laura reached over for her paper and pen and then began to write a letter to send to her father who lived in Tokyo.’
    • ‘I wrote letters to my mother and she sent me recipes.’
    • ‘He decided to write a letter of his own and to send regards from his crew.’
    • ‘Usually, all you need to do is send e-mail or write a letter to the company.’
    • ‘I wrote back and I also wrote to her headmaster, whose name appeared on the school letterhead, at a PO box.’
    • ‘I even wrote to the paper explaining these errors but they never wrote back and I'm still waiting for their reply.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That night she finished writing her short letter to James and copied her poem to him onto the same sheet of paper.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He wrote back saying he loved the song and found nothing objectionable in it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They wrote letters and sent circulars, mailing seventeen bushels of material relating to the fair on one day alone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Connie was very grateful and wrote a letter from her bed and asked Timmy to send it for her on his next visit.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Shortly after that visit home, she wrote me to ask if she could borrow $250.’
    2. 2.2write in Write to an organization, especially a broadcasting station, with a question, suggestion, or opinion.
      ‘write in with your query’
      • ‘And please, before anyone writes in to suggest that we condone acts of violence, be quite clear, we do not.’
      • ‘What about everyone who enjoyed his work and never wrote in because they never felt it necessary?’
      • ‘Thanks especially to all of you who wrote in with your kind words and your criticism.’
      • ‘After each new edition, hundreds write in with suggestions and the occasional correction.’
      • ‘As regards the framing, lots of people wrote in with similar suggestions.’
      • ‘Local residents can write in with their opinions and speak for up to five minutes at the meeting.’
      • ‘It is a situation which has compelled me to write in to your publication to voice my opinion.’
      • ‘I suggest we get as many people as possible to write in with a response so the paper knows it has boobed.’
      • ‘Another task is the keeping of a record of people who wrote in for favours and of favours received.’
      • ‘This did not please one correspondent who wrote in to tick me off.’
      • ‘People are entitled to their opinion and write in to us on a regular basis.’
      • ‘A number of our precious readers wrote in saying they didn't believe it was him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thanks to all those who heard about my new gig, and wrote in with their best wishes.’
      • ‘A meeting was held at the school and parents were invited to write in with suggestions for alternative names.’
      • ‘A number of readers wrote in to ask if I could provide a link for the article in question.’
  • 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’
    • ‘He writes books of poetry but his contact with classical music had been rather limited thus far.’
    • ‘She said rural Ireland inspired her and she wrote pages of poetry about the landscape and the people.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘During the nineteenth century almost all poets wrote poetry in dramatic form.’
    • ‘While in prison, he has written five books of poetry and has contributed to several periodicals.’
    • ‘In the process he made some of the most beautiful poems ever written in the English language.’
    • ‘I was so impressed - a novel written in English about the Geisha world.’
    • ‘It seemed an appropriate year to write a diary for publication.’
    • ‘I'm the only president whose ever written a novel and I've written a book of poetry in the past as well.’
    • ‘Apart from being a reporter and magazine editor, he wrote literary works that were famous in Japan.’
    • ‘She has written five books of poetry and a clip file shows she has been receiving accolades for years.’
    • ‘The opportunity also facilitated mentoring students to write an article for publication.’
    • ‘We know he was interested in American literature, for he wrote an essay each on Whitman and Thoreau.’
    • ‘Not content with just voicing his creativity through music, Enik has also commenced writing a book of poetry.’
    • ‘Aside from his published books, he wrote articles which bristled with wit.’
    • ‘Such fiction seems to be almost entirely translated from novels originally written in English.’
    • ‘The lyrics were written by poets of great literary stature.’
    • ‘He's been at it for decades and has written a magnificent text book which he's currently rewriting.’
    • ‘I wrote books and published articles and eventually got a tenure-track job at a good university.’
    compose, draft, create, invent, think up, draw up, formulate, compile, put together, pen, dash off, produce
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Compose (a musical work)
      ‘he has written a song specifically for her’
      • ‘Does your writing process change when you write a musical as opposed to the other plays you've crafted?’
      • ‘I think it's much harder to write a successful musical than a successful play.’
      • ‘Now I don't think a composer who is actually writing a piece of music should be conscious of self-expression.’
      • ‘Next he wants to write a musical, something he's been planning to do for years.’
      • ‘Recently he's also started to compose and write his own songs.’
      • ‘Contestants were chosen for musical aptitude, and most write songs and play instruments.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Long before he wrote his first song, he was already demonstrating formidable musical skills.’
      • ‘We think the lyricist was a musical comedian and the song was written about 1900, maybe slightly earlier.’
      • ‘When Gershwin was writing the musical, he told her that he had written the part of Bess for her.’
      • ‘I've also finished writing a musical - a very different type of thing.’
      • ‘There are some wonderful musical works written by composers who were perhaps not so great as people.’
      • ‘The tune was written for the 1945 musical Carousel, which Jane and her friends were rehearsing at the time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As a dramatist, he's currently writing a musical based on the entire songbook.’
      • ‘He has written songs for a West End musical and regularly acted on stage and TV.’
    2. 3.2write someone into/out of Add or remove a character to or from (a long-running story or series).
      • ‘Brother Richard has taken a pensmith's revenge by writing Brother Stuart out of the film, portraying himself as an only child.’
      • ‘Would you like me to write you out of the story altogether?’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He added, ‘I'm starting to think they want to write me out of the series for next season.'’
    3. 3.3archaic Describe in writing.
      ‘if I could write the beauty of your eyes’
      • ‘To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry.’
      • ‘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.’
      describe, write about, write an article about, give an account of, characterize, portray, depict, outline, sketch
      View synonyms
  • 4Computing
    Enter (data) into a specified storage medium or location in store.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The main reason for this is that virus - and spyware authors - write malware for the most common platform.’
    • ‘The application can seek, read, an write bytes to the stream as it is a local file.’
  • 5Underwrite (an insurance policy).

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our policies had been extended for two months because the insurance company employee who wrote them had gone on vacation.’
    • ‘Insurers write policies, thus transferring risks customers face to themselves.’
    • ‘You could have an action like this early on in the liquidation of an insurance company that wrote long-tail insurance.’

Phrases

  • be nothing to write home about

    • informal Be very mediocre or unexceptional.

      • ‘There are several tea houses and eating establishments which appear interesting but on the whole offer nothing to write home about.’
      • ‘It got mediocre but promising ratings in the first season - nothing to write home about, but enough to warrant a second season.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The coral cover was nothing to write home about and the usual reef fish-life seemed poor.’
      • ‘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 mushrooms were 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 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.’
      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’
      • ‘But personally I still think he's got winner written all over him.’
      • ‘They seemed to me to have trouble written all over them.’
      • ‘He most certainly has leadership material written all over him.’
      • ‘Vicky spoke out, excitement clearly written all over her face.’
      • ‘Sam stared at me, surprise clearly written all over her face.’
      • ‘He saw her jaw tighten with recognition and determination; mistrust clearly written all over her features.’
      • ‘She started running, panic clearly 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.’
      • ‘Jamie could clearly see that anguish was written all over his face.’
      • ‘They looked up to see her looming over them, with a stern expression written all over her face.’
  • (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’
      • ‘Soon planes spilled off of the carriers and that's all she wrote.’
      • ‘A couple of pizzas and some cold beers and that's all she wrote.’
      • ‘When you get hit with a perfect body shot, 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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘When trouble breaks out here, that's all she wrote till morning.’
      • ‘Someone pops a vial and pour it into a cocktail and that's the end of the story, that's all she wrote.’

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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The stocks had been written down and a book profit was realisable.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How far those assets have been written down over the years, no one knows.’
    • 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.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even though his name wasn't on the ballot, he was written in by nearly half of the voters.’
  • write something off

    • 1Dismiss someone or something as insignificant.

      ‘the boy had been written off as a nonachiever’
      • ‘But the boys were up for it, mainly because we had been written off and it was the last chance to win anything.’
      • ‘The football world wrote us off as another lower league casualty, but we did not give up.’
      • ‘The critics have been writing me off for 20 years.’
      • ‘I'm proud because I don't think I was encouraged, and a lot of people wrote me off.’
      • ‘We looked more confident today and I think sometimes it is easier to play confidently when everyone is writing you off.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The boxing world wrote him off as another beautiful loser; then he met and married Teresa and made a comeback.’
      • ‘People wrote him off, and yet he refused to leave the storyline.’
      • ‘Some people have been writing us off, but we just have to believe in ourselves.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Three years later the entire investment was written off as a loss.’
      • ‘The essential problem is that as fast as bad debts are written off new ones are created by the deflationary contraction in the economy.’
      • ‘Rather than report it as fraud, they simply write it off as a bad debt.’
      • ‘What percentage of investments will be written off over the coming months?’
      • ‘Marine projects were written off as total losses.’
      • ‘Tax receipts are down, as assets have been written off, so less money is coming into the Treasury coffers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The journalist in The Chronicle wrote them up today and reported on inconsistency over several visits.’
      • ‘The police reports to Crown counsel recommending charges were written up that night and the two individuals were held in custody for court.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once that report has been written up it will be available to everybody.’
      • ‘The results of the initial round of interviews were written up with detailed descriptions of the cases.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, this plan backfired and a description of this implement was written up and published!’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘And what I did was collect the stories during the daytime and I wrote them up on the lap-top in the evening.’
        • ‘His recollections were written up in a diary which has been kept by his daughter Mary.’
        • ‘Both observers took notes to remind them of key events and used an observation grid to write these notes up in more detail later.’
        • ‘Field notes from home visits were written up after leaving the site.’
    • 2Increase the nominal value of stock or goods.

      • ‘At a pen's stroke he wrote up the value of the patent to a flat $1000000.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

write

/rīt//raɪt/