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

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 \

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

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Other Words from rewrite


rewriter noun

Examples of rewrite in a Sentence


The teacher asked him to rewrite the essay. I had to rewrite the computer program.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The national party hasn’t condemned these power grabs, giving the state legislatures tacit permission to rewrite the rules. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Wisconsin power grab is part of a bigger Republican attack on democracy," 6 Dec. 2018 The announcement comes two weeks after the administration reached a deal with Canada and Mexico to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement. Paul Wiseman, The Seattle Times, "US to enter trade talks with Japan, European Union, Britain," 16 Oct. 2018 Its drivers continue to lose important legal battles challenging their classification as independent contractors, but major markets like New York City are rewriting the rules to improve working conditions for drivers. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Uber," 29 Dec. 2018 In the December issue On the cover of the December issue is our review of the Google Pixel 3 XL, where Google is winning the game by rewriting the rules. Pcworld Staff, PCWorld, "PCWorld's December Digital Magazine: Google Pixel 3 XL review," 5 Dec. 2018 But in order for this intrepid duo to rewrite the rules on planetary landings, the spacecraft had to get to Mars first—a feat easier said than done. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 Additionally, the Trump administration cannot single-handedly re-rewrite federal civil rights law that were passed by Congress and interpreted by the courts. Chase Strangio, Teen Vogue, "Transgender ACLU Attorney Chase Strangio Explains How to Fight for Trans Rights in Voting Booths and the Streets," 22 Oct. 2018 The decision to rewrite Nagini as a shape-changing woman, when she was previously seen as a snake companion to Harry Potter villain Voldemort, kicked off angry online protests, especially when a South Korean actor was cast in the role. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Even for the Harry Potter hardcore, Crimes of Grindelwald is one convoluted movie," 8 Nov. 2018 One of the most far-reaching changes rewriting the way real estate professionals do business has been the rise of industry-specific technology, startups, and better and more transparent analytics. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The 10 top emerging trends that will shape real estate in 2019," 10 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Parliament rejected the law in its current form, so there is still opportunity for a rewrite and second vote. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Trump drains his own swamp," 6 July 2018 Now, the tax-code rewrite could throw that into reverse., "Beware the $500 Billion Bond Exodus," 17 Jan. 2018 Hatch used his role as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee to get a major rewrite of the U.S. tax codes to the president’s desk while Trump helped Hatch downsize the monuments and get a Utah man freed from a Venezuelan prison. Brady Mccombs, The Seattle Times, "Hatch laments loss of civility for US Senate in ‘crisis’," 12 Dec. 2018 The gathering comes at a critical moment, as Trump administration officials race to finalize a Nafta rewrite in the next few weeks and prepare to meet again next week with Chinese leaders in hopes of forestalling a potential trade war. New York Times, "Trump’s Trade Moves Put U.S. Carmakers in a Jam at Home and Abroad," 10 May 2018 The calculator was the government's latest burst of information related to the sweeping $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, the first major rewrite of the tax code in three decades, which took effect Jan. 1. Marcy Gordon, USA TODAY, "How much tax to withhold? New calculator to help figure it," 1 Mar. 2018 Does Russia have any ground to demand a major rewrite of the rules, especially given the current political climate between the two countries, the Kremlin’s shaky finances, and the ongoing blunders at Roscosmos? Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Is Riled Up About Being Left Behind in Space," 10 Oct. 2018 Roskam, who has served in Congress since 2007, previously was tax policy chair of the House Ways & Means Committee that was instrumental in the federal tax code rewrite. Rick Pearson,, "Vice President Pence to speak in Rosemont Friday, when Gov. Rauner will introduce him," 12 July 2018 Months before the latest device was scheduled to ship out, the company the scientists used to sync all their data gathered from the LoaScope to the cloud shut down, forcing a rewrite of the related software code. Brian Rinker, CNN, "New tech revolutionizes fight against ancient diseases in Africa, Asia," 17 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of rewrite


1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1901, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for rewrite

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rewrite

The first known use of rewrite was in 1567

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More Definitions for rewrite



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 \
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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rewrite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rewrite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a complex dispute or argument

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