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 film was eventually completed with a mix of script rewrites, body doubles, existing footage of Lee and an early form of the digital trickery used by Framestore on Hepburn. The Economist, "What if AI made actors immortal?," 5 July 2018 This is where the High Court is likely to be crucial over the next 20 years as progressives use executive power to rewrite the law by regulatory diktat. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Justice With a Record," 8 July 2018 Ballroom 20, 12 p.m.-12:45 p.m. Krypton After a mind-blowing season 1 finale that saw Krypton's history drastically rewritten, the future of Superman has never been in greater jeopardy. Phillip Molnar,, "Comic Con 2018: Here's your Saturday schedule," 7 July 2018 Governor Scott Walker signed a bill in 2013 that rewrote the law and made any challenges more complicated. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's why the Potawatomi sign on Miller Park's outfield wall is covered up this weekend," 6 July 2018 The new superbody has carte blanche to rewrite the country’s constitution and expand his executive powers. Alex Ward, Vox, "We need to talk about the fact that Trump seriously considered invading Venezuela," 6 July 2018 The Trump administration already was sprinting to get the rules rewritten and through court challenges before the next presidential election. Evan Halper,, "Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid scandals," 5 July 2018 The new findings don’t exactly rewrite the story of human hand evolution. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Did the Human Hand Evolve as a Lean Mean Bone-Smashing Machine?," 13 July 2018 By the time Sam Mendes saw a five-hour Italian version directed by his mentor, Luca Ronconi, in Milan two years later, it had also been translated into German and rewritten by Mr Massini as a novel. The Economist, "On stage, the saga of the Lehman brothers is a parable of America," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sure enough, six months later, the Senate choked on its bid to pass a sweeping rewrite of border and immigration laws. Paul Kane, Anchorage Daily News, "Congress' record on immigration is repeated failures," 24 June 2018 Sure enough, six months later, the Senate choked on its bid to pass a sweeping rewrite of border and immigration laws. Paul Kane,, "Congress' record on immigration is repeated failures," 23 June 2018 Most of the increase was attributable to a $1.6 billion one-time tax benefit associated with the rewrite of the federal tax code. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "Disney Reports Mixed Earnings and a Full Project Pipeline," 6 Feb. 2018 Now any future Nafta deal would go to a different group of lawmakers in 2019 at the earliest, and officials have warned new congressional leaders may seek changes to any rewrite to the treaty, and thus put their stamp on it. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Mexican Election Could Accelerate Nafta Talks," 2 July 2018 But Tuesday, after months of sometimes bizarre rewrites and persistent backlash, the Supreme Court ruled that the travel ban is constitutional. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Foreign critics of Trump’s travel ban face a new foe: The Supreme Court," 27 June 2018 The Legislature has already passed separate legislation proposed by Chabert that would increase the time between rewrites of the state's coastal Master Plan from five years to six years. Mark Schleifstein,, "Louisiana Senate approves $566 million annual plan for coastal restoration, hurricane protection," 11 May 2018 The resulting 42-page draft, published two months ago, is the first rewrite of OSHA regulations governing firefighter safety in decades. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Firefighters protect us. Who protects them?," 13 July 2018 Those media companies have been seeking a rewrite of Europe’s copyright laws that would give them more power to restrict how their content is distributed. Adam Satariano, New York Times, "Tech Giants Win a Battle Over Copyright Rules in Europe," 5 July 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

29 Sep 2018

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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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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