Definition of writer in US English:



  • 1A person who has written a particular text.

    ‘the writer of the letter’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We shared an office as thesis writers back in the days of '99.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cavell's writing displays the rhetorical features that we've seen in novelists and prose writers alike as they perform their thoughts.’
    • ‘That's a method you normally associate with novelists and prose writers rather than comics.’
    • ‘An ombudsman will be appointed as a final level of review to help resolve disputes between authors and letter writers in a fair manner.’
    • ‘The case against the letter writers can be reduced to this: they no longer knew the difference between private and public.’
    • ‘A number of commentators, including letter writers to this newspaper, have made the point, banging on about the general rottenness of modern life.’
    1. 1.1 A person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.
      ‘the distinguished travel writer Freya Stark’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Also, they all work in creative fields - artists, musicians, writers, architectural photographers, cartoonists.’
      • ‘Through his British publisher, Crane met the writer Joseph Conrad, who became his close friend.’
      • ‘When Marcus founded Irish Writing in 1946, he courted writers of short stories and poetry, rather than novelists, to fill its pages.’
      • ‘Members include a variety or writers and would vary from scribblers to novelists, poets, and writers of short stories and writers for children.’
      • ‘Elisabeth Hurst is a writer of short stories; Jo Rittenhouse is a poet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This connection to both local and global urban realities has generated a range of critical responses from culture brokers and art writers.’
      • ‘Today, Dave is a lobster fisherman, while Maureen is both a fisher and a writer of short stories, novels, poetry, and children's literature.’
      • ‘Alex Ninian is a travel writer whose articles on India and other countries have appeared in numerous British and American publications.’
      • ‘The short story writers I have enjoyed most recently are Etgar Keret and Jhumpa Lahiri.’
      • ‘From Joburg to Jozi is a compilation of short stories by writers and journalists who live or who have lived in the city.’
      • ‘The project paid for theatre productions and kept professional actors, writers and theatre workers employed.’
      • ‘Mansfield, born in turn-of-the-century New Zealand, was one of the first modern short story writers to fuse prose and poetry.’
      • ‘Gurdev Singh Ropana is an acclaimed writer of short stories and novels in Punjabi.’
      • ‘Dryden is also one of the first writers of English literary criticism.’
      • ‘Science fiction writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury and H.G. Wells have written about life on and invaders from Mars.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And as a bonus there are a few literary/review essays on writers like Nabokov, Sebald and Evelyn Waugh.’
      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’
      • ‘A prolific writer of books and scientific articles, Hammond received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard.’
      • ‘He's now an accomplished writer with an excellent book of short stories under his belt and a novel on the way.’
      • ‘In ‘Fiction,’ she is a lousy writer in a short story class with her cerebral palsy boyfriend.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A prolific writer, Terrell published articles in over thirty newspapers, magazines, and journals.’
      • ‘A passionate teacher and prolific writer, she has many publications to her name, said Bara.’
      • ‘In addition to his talent for creating short, exciting adolescent novels, Lubar is a fine writer of short stories for young people.’
      • ‘Leach was such a skillful and prolific writer himself that I wondered why someone else would want to tell his story.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was one of the most prolific writers with some 175 books and 15 plays to his credit.’
      • ‘I was influenced by the beat poets and the Southern writers like William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor.’
      • ‘The writer, Charlie Kauffman is probably one of the most exciting writers we have available.’
      • ‘Campanella, a Dominican priest, prolific writer, and imaginative thinker, fell foul of the Inquisition in the 1590s.’
      • ‘She was a prolific writer with thirty-five books published to her credit.’
      • ‘But Zoë was a fairly prolific writer during the years I lived with her.’
      • ‘He's an infinitely finer writer than his dad ever was.’
      • ‘He is also an eerily prolific writer, producing a quality article on culture and society for his weblog every weekday.’
      • ‘An engineer, prolific writer and social activist with a difference, he was different things to different people.’
    3. 1.3 A composer of musical works.
      ‘a writer of military music’
      • ‘As the writer of musicals with the greatest mass appeal of the past half-century, he has ready access to wealth and fame.’
      • ‘Oscar Hammerstein - the greatest musical writer before Sondheim - was a friend of the Sondheim family, and adopted the teenage musician as a protégé.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is now my intention to invite a few experienced musical writers willing to share their thoughts on the matter, so watch this space!’
      • ‘Shenandoah has also pursued an acting career and is a writer of musical scores and soundtracks.’
      • ‘I would love to see more music writers put their stuff up for us to hear.’
      • ‘Christian is promptly enlisted as the writer for the musical about freedom and love that the bohemians are intent on producing.’
      • ‘The words he set were produced two centuries earlier by the great and prolific William Williams, writer of more than 1,000 hymns.’
    4. 1.4Computing A device that writes data to a storage medium.
      • ‘You could use a zip drive, a CDR / DVD writer, a USB drive or a secure online storage service.’
      • ‘Support for multimedia devices such as CD writers is improved but SuSE support for scanners, though improved, remains less than perfect.’
      • ‘Goods seized included 1000s of illegal copies of software, music and films plus PCs, CD / DVD writers and video recorders.’
      • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The option writers on the gold floor have been writing calls on the metals markets with impunity as of late.’
      • ‘A put is a commitment by the writer to sell shares at a given price sometime in the future.’
      • ‘In this case, the put writer would sell a put at a strike price below the market price and collect the premium.’
    6. 1.6with adjective A person who has a specified kind of handwriting.
      ‘neat writers’
      • ‘Writing on paper is great, and I, too, am a fast and neat writer.’
      • ‘If you're a sloppy writer, try to find a way to write messily but still make it look good.’
    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.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've been trying for some time to help Suzy overcome a bad case of writer's block, partly by encouraging her to blog.’
  • writer's cramp

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

      • ‘Getting writer's cramp in the midst of What Maisie Knew, Henry James hired a shorthand typist and his style changed accordingly.’
      • ‘But even when mild, such spasm can be undesirable, as in writer's cramp or the analogous problems for musicians.’
      • ‘I've been scribbling a lot recently, so much that writer's cramp has set in.’
      • ‘A fellow joked afterwards that I should have writer's cramp what with all the books I had to sign.’
      • ‘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.’


Old English wrītere (see write).