Definition of writer in US English:



  • 1A person who has written a particular text.

    ‘the writer of the letter’
    • ‘An ombudsman will be appointed as a final level of review to help resolve disputes between authors and letter writers in a fair manner.’
    • ‘We shared an office as thesis writers back in the days of '99.’
    • ‘Cavell's writing displays the rhetorical features that we've seen in novelists and prose writers alike as they perform their thoughts.’
    • ‘I found the comments by a letter writer in the December issue about the top ten eligible players not in the Hall of Fame most interesting.’
    • ‘That's a method you normally associate with novelists and prose writers rather than comics.’
    • ‘Creative leeway has always been granted to those novelists and letter writers who are able to pull off a controversial use of rhetoric with talent and grace.’
    • ‘A number of commentators, including letter writers to this newspaper, have made the point, banging on about the general rottenness of modern life.’
    • ‘There also is usually a diverse mix of essayists and letter writers on our op-ed page.’
    • ‘Earlier this year, commentators and letter writers seemed to turn up the heat.’
    • ‘The case against the letter writers can be reduced to this: they no longer knew the difference between private and public.’
    1. 1.1 A person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.
      ‘the distinguished travel writer Freya Stark’
      • ‘When Marcus founded Irish Writing in 1946, he courted writers of short stories and poetry, rather than novelists, to fill its pages.’
      • ‘This connection to both local and global urban realities has generated a range of critical responses from culture brokers and art writers.’
      • ‘Dryden is also one of the first writers of English literary criticism.’
      • ‘And as a bonus there are a few literary/review essays on writers like Nabokov, Sebald and Evelyn Waugh.’
      • ‘Members include a variety or writers and would vary from scribblers to novelists, poets, and writers of short stories and writers for children.’
      • ‘Science fiction writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury and H.G. Wells have written about life on and invaders from Mars.’
      • ‘Gurdev Singh Ropana is an acclaimed writer of short stories and novels in Punjabi.’
      • ‘Elisabeth Hurst is a writer of short stories; Jo Rittenhouse is a poet.’
      • ‘The project paid for theatre productions and kept professional actors, writers and theatre workers employed.’
      • ‘The Trust now holds regular readings of Wordsworth's works, using actors, and employs writers and artists in residence to breathe life into the poet's legacy.’
      • ‘Through his British publisher, Crane met the writer Joseph Conrad, who became his close friend.’
      • ‘Also, they all work in creative fields - artists, musicians, writers, architectural photographers, cartoonists.’
      • ‘Today, Dave is a lobster fisherman, while Maureen is both a fisher and a writer of short stories, novels, poetry, and children's literature.’
      • ‘From Joburg to Jozi is a compilation of short stories by writers and journalists who live or who have lived in the city.’
      • ‘The short story writers I have enjoyed most recently are Etgar Keret and Jhumpa Lahiri.’
      • ‘Mansfield, born in turn-of-the-century New Zealand, was one of the first modern short story writers to fuse prose and poetry.’
      • ‘Alex Ninian is a travel writer whose articles on India and other countries have appeared in numerous British and American publications.’
      • ‘First print runs for established literary fiction writers such as Margaret Atwood tend to average 30,000 or 40,000.’
      • ‘‘The book is about growing old as a man,’ says short story writer, novelist and playwright Carl Nixon.’
      • ‘The play is part of the Shell Connections project which involves the UK National Theatre commissioning ten professional writers to write new work for youth theatre.’
      author, wordsmith, man of letters, woman of letters, penman, creative writer
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with adjective A person who writes in a specified way.
      ‘Dickens was a prolific writer’
      • ‘Campanella, a Dominican priest, prolific writer, and imaginative thinker, fell foul of the Inquisition in the 1590s.’
      • ‘A passionate teacher and prolific writer, she has many publications to her name, said Bara.’
      • ‘Leach was such a skillful and prolific writer himself that I wondered why someone else would want to tell his story.’
      • ‘A prolific writer of books and scientific articles, Hammond received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard.’
      • ‘A prolific writer, Terrell published articles in over thirty newspapers, magazines, and journals.’
      • ‘I was influenced by the beat poets and the Southern writers like William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor.’
      • ‘The loneliness of the long distance writer is not an option when you have a writing partner.’
      • ‘Hardy was an especially polished and prolific writer and had the greatest effect in leading this resurgence of British mathematics.’
      • ‘The writer, Charlie Kauffman is probably one of the most exciting writers we have available.’
      • ‘Mitch described the person behind Layne as an ‘accomplished but frustrated writer.’’
      • ‘As befits a highly prolific writer he's uneven, but when he's good he's very good.’
      • ‘In addition to his talent for creating short, exciting adolescent novels, Lubar is a fine writer of short stories for young people.’
      • ‘He is also an eerily prolific writer, producing a quality article on culture and society for his weblog every weekday.’
      • ‘Nora Sayre was a witty, vivacious writer with a steel backbone who set herself to being a chronicler of her - and the left's - times.’
      • ‘But Zoë was a fairly prolific writer during the years I lived with her.’
      • ‘He was one of the most prolific writers with some 175 books and 15 plays to his credit.’
      • ‘He's an infinitely finer writer than his dad ever was.’
      • ‘However, the author of Trainspotting has revealed that his streetwise style owes as much to classical writers such as Jane Austen, George Eliot and Walter Scott as to modern pop influences.’
      • ‘An engineer, prolific writer and social activist with a difference, he was different things to different people.’
      • ‘In ‘Fiction,’ she is a lousy writer in a short story class with her cerebral palsy boyfriend.’
      • ‘She was a prolific writer with thirty-five books published to her credit.’
      • ‘He's now an accomplished writer with an excellent book of short stories under his belt and a novel on the way.’
    3. 1.3 A composer of musical works.
      ‘a writer of military music’
      • ‘Musical writers have ran out of ideas - and their producers are refusing to take risks on something that may well turn out to be a flop.’
      • ‘Oscar Hammerstein - the greatest musical writer before Sondheim - was a friend of the Sondheim family, and adopted the teenage musician as a protégé.’
      • ‘As the writer of musicals with the greatest mass appeal of the past half-century, he has ready access to wealth and fame.’
      • ‘The words he set were produced two centuries earlier by the great and prolific William Williams, writer of more than 1,000 hymns.’
      • ‘Christian is promptly enlisted as the writer for the musical about freedom and love that the bohemians are intent on producing.’
      • ‘It is now my intention to invite a few experienced musical writers willing to share their thoughts on the matter, so watch this space!’
      • ‘I would love to see more music writers put their stuff up for us to hear.’
      • ‘Shenandoah has also pursued an acting career and is a writer of musical scores and soundtracks.’
    4. 1.4Computing A device that writes data to a storage medium.
      • ‘Goods seized included 1000s of illegal copies of software, music and films plus PCs, CD / DVD writers and video recorders.’
      • ‘You could use a zip drive, a CDR / DVD writer, a USB drive or a secure online storage service.’
      • ‘Like most of the DVD writers of the last 6 months, there is no headphone jack or volume control on the front of the DRW8800.’
      • ‘Support for multimedia devices such as CD writers is improved but SuSE support for scanners, though improved, remains less than perfect.’
    5. 1.5Stock Market A broker who makes an option available for purchase or sells options.
      • ‘The writers look at many options and identify opportunities to meet different financial needs.’
      • ‘In this case, the put writer would sell a put at a strike price below the market price and collect the premium.’
      • ‘The option writers on the gold floor have been writing calls on the metals markets with impunity as of late.’
      • ‘The writer of a naked option, be it a put or a call, would therefore not benefit from a rise in volatility since writers desire the price of the option to decline.’
      • ‘A put is a commitment by the writer to sell shares at a given price sometime in the future.’
    6. 1.6with adjective A person who has a specified kind of handwriting.
      ‘neat writers’
      • ‘If you're a sloppy writer, try to find a way to write messily but still make it look good.’
      • ‘Writing on paper is great, and I, too, am a fast and neat writer.’
    7. 1.7British historical A scribe.
    8. 1.8British archaic A clerk, especially in the navy or other government offices.


  • writer's block

    • The condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

      • ‘I've been trying for some time to help Suzy overcome a bad case of writer's block, partly by encouraging her to blog.’
      • ‘Sorry that this chapter took so long, but I was having serious writer's block.’
      • ‘Some call it writer's block, others, cruelly, call it a lack of creativity.’
      • ‘Father had had writer's block since writing his last novel, Jacob Wrestling.’
      • ‘From his output, you wouldn't think Stephen King suffered from writer's block.’
  • writer's cramp

    • Pain or stiffness in the hand caused by excessive writing.

      • ‘A fellow joked afterwards that I should have writer's cramp what with all the books I had to sign.’
      • ‘But even when mild, such spasm can be undesirable, as in writer's cramp or the analogous problems for musicians.’
      • ‘Getting writer's cramp in the midst of What Maisie Knew, Henry James hired a shorthand typist and his style changed accordingly.’
      • ‘Their definition of a disease is loose, at best; the list includes everything from cancer and AIDS to constipation, colour blindness, writer's cramp and the hiccups.’
      • ‘I've been scribbling a lot recently, so much that writer's cramp has set in.’


Old English wrītere (see write).