Definition of write something off in English:

write something off

phrasal verb

  • 1Dismiss someone or something as insignificant.

    ‘they were written off as a bunch of no-hopers’
    • ‘The boxing world wrote him off as another beautiful loser; then he met and married Teresa and made a comeback.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm proud because I don't think I was encouraged, and a lot of people wrote me 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.’
    • ‘People wrote him off, and yet he refused to leave the storyline.’
    • ‘We looked more confident today and I think sometimes it is easier to play confidently when everyone is writing you off.’
    • ‘The critics have been writing me off for 20 years.’
    • ‘Some people have been writing us off, but we just have to believe in ourselves.’
    disregard, regard as finished, consider unimportant, dismiss, ignore
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  • 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’
    • ‘The capital cost of certain premises can be written off against the purchaser's income over a number of years.’
    • ‘Marine projects were written off as total losses.’
    • ‘Three years later the entire investment was written off as a loss.’
    • ‘Some debts are written off, although creditors are reluctant to do so.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Half the cost of each apartment can be written off against income by owner-occupiers.’
    • ‘What percentage of investments will be written off over the coming months?’
    • ‘The essential problem is that as fast as bad debts are written off new ones are created by the deflationary contraction in the economy.’
    forget about, disregard, give up on, give up for lost, cancel, annul, nullify, wipe out, cross out, score out
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    1. 2.1British Damage a vehicle so badly that it cannot be repaired or is not worth repairing.
      • ‘Initial estimates found three homes and shops were destroyed, eight remained in a ‘very dangerous state’ and 50 vehicles had been written off.’
      • ‘He said at least two vehicles were written off and that the total cost of the damage could amount to £150,000 though the final figures were still not known.’
      • ‘These include a crash earlier this week in which a woman was taken to hospital and two vehicles were written off.’
      • ‘The court heard some complainants were still in negotiation with insurance companies, but at least two of the vehicles had been written off.’
      • ‘A traffic warden booked a car after it had been written off in a rush-hour smash and the driver taken to hospital.’
      • ‘Magistrates heard that the man used a concrete slab to smash every window in the vehicle and cause such extensive damage that the vehicle was written off by the insurance company.’
      • ‘Mr Turner said Sam had lost his job because of time off work after the accident and his vehicle was written off.’
      • ‘A claimant whose motor car is damaged by the negligent driving of the defendant will either incur expense in putting right the damage or discard the vehicle, i.e., write it off as uneconomic to repair.’
      • ‘The couple also revealed that the woman was involved in a car crash just one week before and that vehicle was written off.’
      • ‘Just two days after buying his car he skidded it on black ice on a major road and wrote it off.’
      wreck, damage beyond repair, smash, smash up, crash, destroy, demolish, ruin
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