Definition of writing in US English:

writing

noun

  • 1The activity or skill of marking coherent words on paper and composing text.

    ‘parents want schools to concentrate on reading, writing, and arithmetic’
    • ‘Proposal writing is a vital skill that many business owners haven't mastered.’
    • ‘I am going to sit here and try to get some reading and writing done before the storm catches up with me.’
    • ‘It's that the one-week lag between my writing and your reading is eliminated by blogging.’
    • ‘We wish to assure the public that the teaching, reading and writing of poetry are alive and well at Rio Rancho High School.’
    • ‘It's an academic course and there's lots of reading and writing.’
    • ‘Wouldn't it be fantastic if they could be encouraged to take up reading and writing as well?’
    • ‘As soon as civilisation invented writing, stories began to be recorded on paper.’
    • ‘Whilst excelling in architecture James also channelled his creativity into writing and photography.’
    • ‘The skill of writing, however, did not become common in the West for hundreds of years.’
    • ‘Reading and writing were the only subjects that Ms. Stacey could teach in Spanish.’
    • ‘My writing and reading are not perfect but they are greatly improved.’
    • ‘Young offenders will improve their reading, writing and numeracy to help them get jobs after they leave custody.’
    • ‘She is still a long way from a full recovery, but is making steady improvement in her reading, writing and concentration.’
    • ‘I know that my own horizons have been expanded by writing and reading of blogs.’
    • ‘Anjar looked puzzled, unable to link the act of writing with the printed text on a page.’
    • ‘His book is part memoir, part meditation on the processes of reading and writing, and is thoroughly engaging.’
    • ‘Paul Jane offers a helpful suggestion for those wanting to use Spanish words in their writing.’
    • ‘The foundations laid in basic reading, writing and mathematics will serve them for the rest of their lives.’
    • ‘I had wanted to major in creative writing, but was told I could never make a living that way.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, traffic to major news websites spiked - and so did the reading and writing of blogs.’
    • ‘Her reading, writing and concentration are improving and her diet is virtually back to normal.’
    1. 1.1 A sequence of letters, words, or symbols marked on paper or some other surface.
      ‘a leather product with gold writing on it’
      • ‘In cuneiform writing, words are represented by signs incised into clay tablets by a wedge-shaped instrument.’
      • ‘The launches were observed from both sides and have no writing or identification marks on them.’
      • ‘The gold writing of the pictograph contrasted the blackness of the sword.’
      • ‘Mr Shackleton remembered his attacker was wearing a navy blue crew-neck sweater with a badge emblem and red writing on it.’
      • ‘Chinese writing uses a system of symbols to represent words or concepts rather than sounds and is not directly linked to pronunciation.’
      • ‘And the walls were highly decorated with Egyptian writing of stories and what not.’
      • ‘The nameplate is a square, cream, ceramic sign with green writing.’
      • ‘There is a sign by the door, embedded writing on a gold plate, but she is too far away to read it.’
      • ‘Constructed to hang on the wall, the works present text in cursive writing, sewn into the silk fabric of the support.’
    2. 1.2 Handwriting.
      ‘his writing looked crabbed’
      • ‘The writing seemed familiar but he couldn't quite put his thumb on whose exactly it was.’
      • ‘Her eyes skimmed the familiar writing and descended knowingly on that one sentence that seemed to haunt her desperately.’
      • ‘Occasionally a writer may vary the slant of her writing, with letters pointing in all directions.’
      • ‘In his lap was a Manila folder, Italian writing scribbled all over on various notes and documents.’
      • ‘Written in red ink, in my father's slanted, tiny writing, were five words, repeated over and over.’
      • ‘Squinting his eyes Kaerin read a particularly difficult word, the writing slanted and close together to almost look like a lone blob of ink.’
      • ‘He muttered as he reached for his bag and pulled out a yellow legal pad covered in scrawled writing.’
      • ‘As Aidan began to read the letter out, Jordan tore his envelope open and read the scrawled writing.’
      • ‘At the bottom of the letter was some hand-written writing saying she would like to come to our school.’
      • ‘I had known how to read and write that type of writing since I was a little girl.’
      • ‘While jumping into the garment, I read the writing scrawled on the paper.’
      • ‘He went into the kitchen in hopes to find her only to find a note scribbled in her writing.’
      • ‘The only other handwriting that we have been able to identify is the writing on the boards or doors at Mr Wilkins flat.’
      • ‘The writing seemed oddly familiar, but Sakura couldn't remember who wrote like that.’
      • ‘He produced three slightly dirty envelopes with the familiar writing of Jacob Ryan.’
      • ‘Some sort of writing had been scrawled over one side, and it looked like some ancient language.’
      • ‘When she opened the piece of paper written in fancy writing was an invitation addressed to Kelly Wiston.’
      • ‘According to the principles of calligraphy, writing should be upright or slanting to the right.’
      • ‘The first word was in Joey's awkward writing, but someone had finished the letter for him.’
      • ‘Many of them were written in crayon in David's clumsy writing, with each letter picked out in a colour different from the letter preceding it.’
      handwriting, hand, script, penmanship, pen, print, printing, longhand, calligraphy, chirography
      View synonyms
  • 2The activity or occupation of composing text for publication.

    ‘she made a decent living from writing’
    • ‘What I wanted to do with writing was to write novels and make money like anybody else.’
    • ‘I'm pretty sure that writing for publication is one of the most arrogant things a human can do.’
    • ‘I have not worked at a job for nine years, doing only freelance writing.’
    • ‘Lawrence's nomadic life supplied him with material for much of his writing and he wrote four travel books of a very personal kind.’
    • ‘I want to pursue a career in writing, hopefully through some form of journalism.’
    • ‘To be a writer you need to learn the tricks and skills to live the life of writing.’
    • ‘I don't know about you, but I find it very hard indeed to think of writing as a sensible occupation.’
    • ‘Speaking for myself, I would say it is possible to make a living out of writing.’
    1. 2.1 Written work, especially with regard to its style or quality.
      ‘the writing is straightforward and accessible’
      • ‘He makes this point in his Clarkson style in a brilliant piece of writing for the Sunday Times.’
      • ‘The question came from an editor interested in improving the quality of writing at her newspaper.’
      • ‘The characters are fairly horrible yet Thomas coaxes enough style out of his writing to keep the pages turning.’
      • ‘On top of a good foundation of acting talent, the show was also blessed with quality writing.’
      • ‘At times, Darwin worried that his writing sounded too literary and feared that his metaphors would lead readers astray.’
      • ‘Not to trivialize his work, but one of the reasons I believe his work is so popular is the aphoristic style of his writing.’
      • ‘Banerji has a wonderful prose style - her writing is fluid and confident and often extremely imaginative.’
      • ‘I have always said that unclear writing is a sign of unclear thinking.’
      • ‘The writing embodies the literary skill of an author who has been publishing for over half a century.’
      • ‘The magazine is notable for the quality of its writing as well as the way it engages the books reviewed.’
      • ‘Is this grand sum due to the quality of her writing or the current hunger for Canadian literature?’
      • ‘But Gee uses this as an excuse to replay some tired stereotypes which undermine the genuine satirical quality of her writing.’
      • ‘His writing must contain unlimited implications which appear outside the text.’
      • ‘She did praise my writing and presented me with many opportunities to stretch my skills.’
      • ‘Please don't think, by the way, that I object to complex writing or to unusual words or phrases.’
      • ‘I hope you enjoy this month's crop of great reading and inspiring writing.’
      • ‘Dr. Sartor provided wise counsel and a keen eye for quality writing for many years.’
      • ‘There are vast differences of thought and style within classical writing.’
      • ‘Oh, his writing has a certain style and he can say a simple thing.’
      • ‘This fascinating book by the leading authority on its subject is outstanding for the quality of both its writing and its illustrations.’
    2. 2.2writings Books, stories, articles, or other written works.
      ‘he was introduced to the writings of Gertrude Stein’
      • ‘Chomsky's political writings are littered with violations of these conventions.’
      • ‘Evidence concerning Colins's character can be found in the writings of Voltaire.’
      • ‘His spare but passionate writings have been an inspiration to a whole generation.’
      • ‘There is also a large body of published English writings by non-English authors.’
      • ‘I never wanted this blog to be a diary - it was supposed to be an outlet for my various writings.’
      • ‘He relates in his writings that he developed some medicines which were almost miraculous cures.’
      • ‘The Jewish prayer book is drawn from the writings of the Jewish people across the ages.’
      • ‘An annotated bibliography of his writings on Cornish folklore is also presented.’
      • ‘We know from the writings of Tacitus that the weather in Britain was terrible.’
      • ‘Stevenson's Scotland is a collection of the author's writings on his native land.’
      • ‘It remains an indispensable source for all students of Virginia Woolf's writings.’
      • ‘Ficino gave particular consideration to the melancholic temperament in his writings.’
      • ‘His writings are a model of lucidity and a pleasure to read, though he confessed that he was a reluctant writer.’
      • ‘From the writings of Seneca, we know that the Romans spent large sums of money building their baths.’
      • ‘I find an echo of this view in the writings of various jurists and commentators on the law.’
      • ‘Gottlob Frege's writings have had a profound influence on contemporary thought.’
      • ‘Dawkins brings his clear and concrete habits of mind to all of his writings.’
      • ‘He left no writings, but his arguments were recorded in many volumes by his pupil Clitomachus.’
      • ‘Imtiaz has based many of her writings on her childhood experiences in Scotland.’
      • ‘In Paris, he was exposed to the modern thought and writings of Bergson and Nietzsche.’
      compositions, works, oeuvre, opus, books, volumes, publications, titles, tomes
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 The Hagiographa.
      • ‘But there is a secondary history (Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah) included in the Writings.’
      • ‘The Hebrew Bible is traditionally divided into three parts: the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.’
      • ‘Therefore, we place books of the Torah on top of those of the Prophets and Writings, and not vice versa.’
      • ‘When the time comes that these young students and mature scholars become rabbis in Israel and have to prepare Derashot, or sermons, they will surely need to search in Prophets and Writings for texts.’
      • ‘The tripartite division of Jewish tradition into Law, Prophets, and Writings does not favor a midpoint, or at least has not led to a discussion of center, despite the importance of the Torah.’

Phrases

  • the writing is on the wall

    • There are clear signs that something unpleasant or unwelcome is going to happen.

      ‘the writing was on the wall for the old system’
      • ‘When the handwriting is on the wall, it's prudent to get your ‘true’ position on the record before anyone thinks you were responsible for the failure.’
      • ‘The reality is, right now, in Hartlepool, they're worried, they're nervous; and they can see the writing is on the wall.’
      • ‘Since tobacco companies market their product to young people, the handwriting is on the wall in terms of the toll that we can expect if the course continues unchecked.’
      • ‘I know nothing has been officially decided yet, but the writing is on the wall and we are looking at an utter disaster for the town.’
      • ‘But the writing is on the wall: this Macbeth is already done for.’
      • ‘However, although the writing is on the wall for the old hospital buildings at Bishopstoke, residents have been given a glimmer of hope in the possibility of rebuilding new services on the site.’
      • ‘When our own ranks are turning against us, the writing is on the wall.’
      • ‘Evidence from one Yorkshire local authority suggests that the writing is on the wall for affordable housing in villages.’
      • ‘Obviously, it would be a seismic shift at the New York Stock Exchange, but I think the handwriting is on the wall.’
      • ‘People are tired of him and it is clear to all of us that the writing is on the wall.’
      omen, ill omen, bad omen, portent, sign, indication, presage, warning, forewarning, foreshadowing, forecast, harbinger, augury, threat, menace, signal, hint, straw in the wind
      View synonyms
  • in writing

    • In written form, especially as proof of an agreement or grievance.

      ‘he asked them to put their complaints in writing’
      • ‘It is a good idea to provide the information in writing to the proprietor.’
      • ‘If you are renting a flat, make sure you meet the landlord and agree on a fixed rent in writing.’
      • ‘I have been considering Michael Wood's legal view, which he kindly gave in writing.’
      • ‘There would be no difficulty if such an agreement were made expressly and in writing.’
      • ‘Despite dozens of calls and letters, she was unable to get the bank to confirm the valuation in writing.’
      • ‘If you make an agreement with someone, get it in writing, or you could regret it later.’
      • ‘If you are not happy with the outcome of the claim, complain again in writing.’
      • ‘Whatever the case, two Borders clubs later apologised to the player in writing.’
      • ‘No date has been given for his ruling, but it will follow final submissions in writing from both sides.’
      • ‘This Trade Contract may not be varied except by an agreement in writing signed by the parties.’

Pronunciation

writing

/ˈraɪdɪŋ//ˈrīdiNG/