\ˈrīt \
wrote\ˈrōt \; written\ˈri-tᵊn \ also writ\ˈrit \ or dialectal wrote; writing\ˈrī-tiŋ \

Definition of write 

transitive verb

1a : 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)

9a : 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

intransitive verb

1a : 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

3a : 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 largeThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

writ small

: on a smaller scale

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Examples of write in a Sentence

children learning to read and write I don't have anything to write with. Could I borrow a pen? Please write your name at the top of each sheet. Write the number as a decimal instead of as a fraction. She wrote “tag sale” on the sign in big letters. The note was written in blue ink. I mistakenly wrote her name as “Gene” instead of “Jean.” She wrote hundreds of poems during her lifetime. She wrote an essay comparing two poems. I'm writing an article for the school newspaper.
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Recent Examples on the Web

As my colleague David Sims wrote on Monday, Netflix plans to spend between $12 and $13 billion this year on original programming, while HBO’s budget in 2017 was a thrifty $2.5 billion by comparison. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Emmy Nominations 2018: Netflix Takes Over," 12 July 2018 The bill, as written by supporters, would legalize the possession, sale, and use of marijuana for all North Dakota residents who are age 21 and older. Christopher Ingraham, BostonGlobe.com, "In North Dakota, supporters of legalizing marijuana push for vote," 12 July 2018 That's a gap that runs against the fact that women typically turn out at higher rates, as The Post’s Dan Balz wrote last weekend. Emily Guskin, Washington Post, "Democrats more enthusiastic about voting in midterms," 12 July 2018 As Cox writes: In many cases, both teams will have access to this data and, hence, both sides would be aware of any potential patterns. Umair Irfan, Vox, "World Cup shootouts: why the team that goes first usually wins," 11 July 2018 The employee suspected guests, as the notes were written on hotel notepads. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Brookfield employee thought a prostitute was soliciting clients at their hotel. It was just a bad joke.," 10 July 2018 The president's vision for our Supreme Court is following the rule of law and interpreting the Constitution as written. Fox News, "Gowdy: SCOTUS confirmation process has become politicized," 10 July 2018 Forbes wrote that the company has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup, including roughly $330 million in 2017 alone. Rachel Siegel, chicagotribune.com, "Kylie Jenner is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire. Ever.," 14 July 2018 From Takada’s precise and serene score, Lafawndah wrote lyrics that are essentially a dialogue between herself and the fox. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Two Generations of Experimental Musical Artists Join Forces for a Dreamy New Kenzo Video," 12 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of write

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

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Learn More about write

Dictionary Entries near write





write back

write down


Statistics for write

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for write

The first known use of write was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for write



English Language Learners Definition of write

: 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


\ˈrīt \
wrote\ˈrōt \; written\ˈri-tᵊn \; writing\ˈrī-tiŋ \

Kids Definition of write

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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More from Merriam-Webster on write

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for write

Spanish Central: Translation of write

Nglish: Translation of write for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of write for Arabic Speakers

Comments on write

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lying above or upon

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