verb \ ˈrīt \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

Definition of write

wrote play \ˈrōt\; written play \ˈri-tᵊn\ also writ play \ˈrit\ or dialectal wrote; writing play \ˈrī-tiŋ\
1 a : to form (characters, symbols, etc.) on a surface with an instrument (such as a pen)
b : to form (words) by inscribing characters or symbols on a surface
  • write one's name
c : to spell in writing
  • words written alike but pronounced differently
d : to cover, fill, or fill in by writing
  • wrote ten pages
  • write a check
2 : to set down in writing: such as
a : draw up, draft
  • write a will
b (1) : to be the author of : compose
  • writes poems and essays
(2) : to compose in musical form
  • write a string quartet
c : to express in literary form
  • if I could write the beauty of your eyes
  • —William Shakespeare
d : to communicate by letter
  • writes that they are coming
e : to use or exhibit (a specific script, language, or literary form or style) in writing
  • write braille
  • writes French with ease
f : to write contracts or orders for; especially : underwrite
  • write life insurance
3 : to make a permanent impression of
4 : to communicate with in writing
  • we'll write you when we get there
5 : ordain, fate
  • so be it, it is written
  • —D. C. Peattie
6 : to make evident or obvious
  • guilt written on his face
7 : to force, effect, introduce, or remove by writing
  • write oneself into fame and fortune
  • —Charles Lee
8 : to take part in or bring about (something worth recording)
9 a : to introduce (information) into the storage device or medium of a computer
b : to transfer (information) from the main memory of a computer to a storage or output device
10 : sell
  • write a stock option
1 a : to make significant characters or inscriptions; also : to permit or be adapted to writing
b : to form or produce written letters, words, or sentences
2 : to compose, communicate by, or send a letter
3 a : to produce a written work
b : to compose music
write one's own ticket
: to select a course of action or position entirely according to one's wishes
writ large
: on a larger scale or in a more prominent manner
  • the problems of modern totalitarianism are only our own problems writ large
  • The Times Literary Supplement (London)
writ small
: on a smaller scale

Examples of write in a Sentence

  1. children learning to read and write

  2. I don't have anything to write with. Could I borrow a pen?

  3. Please write your name at the top of each sheet.

  4. Write the number as a decimal instead of as a fraction.

  5. She wrote “tag sale” on the sign in big letters.

  6. The note was written in blue ink.

  7. I mistakenly wrote her name as “Gene” instead of “Jean.”

  8. She wrote hundreds of poems during her lifetime.

  9. She wrote an essay comparing two poems.

  10. I'm writing an article for the school newspaper.

Recent Examples of write from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of write

Middle English, from Old English wrītan to scratch, draw, inscribe; akin to Old High German rīzan to tear and perhaps to Greek rhinē file, rasp

WRITE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of write for English Language Learners

  • : to form letters or numbers on a surface with a pen, pencil, etc.

  • : to create (a book, poem, story, etc.) by writing words on paper, on a computer, etc.

  • : to produce (a written document, agreement, rule, etc.) by writing

WRITE Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈrīt \

Definition of write for Students

wrote \ˈrōt\; written \ˈri-tᵊn\; writing \ˈrī-tiŋ\
1 : to form letters or words with pen or pencil
  • The kindergartners are learning to write.
2 : to form the letters or the words of (as on paper)
  • Write your name.
3 : to put down on paper
  • For homework, write about your vacation.
4 : to make up and set down for others to read
  • I'm writing a novel.
5 : to compose music
6 : to communicate with someone by sending a letter

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excessive admiration or flattery

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