re·​write | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈrīt How to pronounce rewrite (audio) \
rewrote\ (ˌ)rē-​ˈrōt How to pronounce rewrote (audio) \; rewritten\ (ˌ)rē-​ˈri-​tᵊn How to pronounce rewritten (audio) \; rewriting\ (ˌ)rē-​ˈrī-​tiŋ How to pronounce rewriting (audio) \

Definition of rewrite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to write in reply
2 : to make a revision of (something, such as a story) : cause to be revised: such as
a : to put (contributed material) into form for publication
b : to alter (previously published material) for use in another publication

intransitive verb

: to revise something previously written


re·​write | \ ˈrē-ˌrīt How to pronounce rewrite (audio) \

Definition of rewrite (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a piece of writing (such as a news story) constructed by rewriting
2 : an act or instance of rewriting

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rewrite


rewriter noun

Examples of rewrite in a Sentence

Verb The teacher asked him to rewrite the essay. I had to rewrite the computer program.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Washington Post, "Khashoggi’s sons forgive Saudi killers, sparing 5 execution," 22 May 2020 In the span of five days, the rules of engagement between Beijing and Hong Kong—ostensibly a city with a high degree of autonomy over its own affairs—were completely rewritten. Mary Hui, Quartz, "While the world wasn’t looking, Beijing re-wrote the rules in Hong Kong at startling speed," 14 May 2020 Together, the two are breaking down barriers in Hollywood and literally rewriting history. Kaitlin Reilly,, "Janet Mock’s Hollywood Is An Invitation To Stop Whitewashing," 5 May 2020 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Washington Post, "Jay Chou brings magic with his Netflix show ‘J-Style Trip’," 7 May 2020 Already, Trump and his advisers are beginning to rewrite the history of the virus in a way that ignores the delay and denialism that led the U.S. to suffer the worst outbreak in the world so far. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Trump and the 1917 Pandemic That Wasn’t," 30 Apr. 2020 The President's tweet clearly exposed media attempts to maliciously push a falsehood about his China decision in an attempt to rewrite history. CBS News, "Trump retweets "FireFauci" hashtag after top scientist appears to contradict him," 13 Apr. 2020 The low numbers have given Xi a global platform and a powerful pen to rewrite history. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "China reframes coronavirus narrative, touts Xi's accomplishments despite bodies piling up," 16 Mar. 2020 Rather than fix the system, the federal government rewrote the description to lower the bar for itself. Andrea Bernstein, ProPublica, "How Jared Kushner Is Tackling the White House’s Coronavirus Response — Without Any Evident Experience," 22 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The screenplay for The Godmother was written by Regina Corrado and Terence Winter, and William Monahan is set to do a rewrite. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, "Reed Morano in Talks to Direct Jennifer Lopez in STX's 'The Godmother'," 17 Apr. 2020 The monuments bill is a rewrite of a flawed law that’s only three years old, and state Sen. Gerald Allen sponsored both the original and the update. al, "Monuments rewrite sails through committee, Open Records Act left to die," 27 Feb. 2020 For the Style Magazine essay, writer Brian Keith Jackson scratched the surface of Hollywood’s black female history in order to flaunt this rewrite of film culture. Armond White, National Review, "Mind Control, via Cultural Coverage, at the New York Times," 17 Apr. 2020 The constitutional rewrite Putin proposed has been widely interpreted as an attempt by Putin to ensure his influence after this presidential term ends. Isabelle Khurshudyan, Washington Post, "Putin once told Russians he didn’t want to be the ‘eternal president.’ Now it appears he does.," 11 Mar. 2020 Specifically, White House officials have tried to find the legal authority to underpin the agency’s rewrite of the science guidelines. Kelsey Brugger, Science | AAAS, "White House edits to EPA’s draft rule reveal tensions over ‘secret science’ push," 10 Mar. 2020 Fans who've seen the film know this bit gets a slight rewrite in the 2020 screen version. What Is Black Canary's Power? Lia Beck,, "A Guide To Birds Of Prey’s Black Canary, Aka Your New Favourite DC Character," 10 Feb. 2020 Jones also wrote the first draft of the early script for Jim Henson's David Bowie-starring cult adventure fantasy Labyrinth (1986), and despite the screenplay going through several rewrites, received the film's sole screenwriting credit. Alex Ritman, Billboard, "Terry Jones, 'Monty Python' Co-Founder and British Comedy Icon, Dies at 77," 22 Jan. 2020 Global Headlines Shutdown showdown | Fresh off their victory lap for passing the biggest tax-code rewrite in a generation, Republicans are once again ensnared in a fiscal fight., "Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.," 21 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rewrite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of rewrite


1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1901, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rewrite

Time Traveler for rewrite

Time Traveler

The first known use of rewrite was in 1567

See more words from the same year

Statistics for rewrite

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rewrite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rewrite


How to pronounce rewrite (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rewrite

: to write (something) again especially in a different way in order to improve it or to include new information


re·​write | \ ˌrē-ˈrīt How to pronounce rewrite (audio) \
rewrote\ -​ˈrōt \; rewritten\ -​ˈri-​tᵊn \; rewriting\ -​ˈrī-​tiŋ \

Kids Definition of rewrite

: to write over again especially in a different way Rewrite this confusing sentence.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rewrite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rewrite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rewrite

Spanish Central: Translation of rewrite

Nglish: Translation of rewrite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rewrite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rewrite

What made you want to look up rewrite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!