\ ˈrīt How to pronounce write (audio) \
wrote\ ˈrōt How to pronounce wrote (audio) \; written\ ˈri-​tᵊn How to pronounce written (audio) \ also writ\ ˈrit How to pronounce writ (audio) \ or dialectal wrote; writing\ ˈrī-​tiŋ How to pronounce writing (audio) \

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 Months before he was put on restrictive duty in November, he had been suspended for three days for failing to write a report detailing his handling of a 2016 tip that the school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was going to shoot up a school. Megan O'matz, sun-sentinel.com, "These are the fired Parkland cops who want their jobs back," 19 Sep. 2020 The book, about a man who discovers Anne Frank hiding in his country-house attic, struggling to write a follow-up to her bestselling diaries, is a gloriously cathartic harangue about Judaism’s persecution... Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Family Meal," 18 Sep. 2020 Those were my favorite scenes to write and work on with Ellie [Monahan], who wrote the episode. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Boys boss on the 'Terror' of filming with animals and making Dawn of the 7," 18 Sep. 2020 Katie Silberman, who penned Booksmart, is teaming up with Wilde again to write the script. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Olivia Wilde Is Directing a Marvel Movie, Reportedly Featuring Spider-Woman," 17 Sep. 2020 But there is now evidence to support that anarchist and socialist militant groups have also used internet platforms to plan and coordinate real-world attacks, the authors of the NCRI report write. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "Tactics employed by right-wing extremist groups are now being used by extremists on the left, report finds," 16 Sep. 2020 When it was released by the hip-hop group in 1988, it was banned from radio stations, protested heavily by police departments and unions, and led the FBI to write a stern letter to the group’s record label. Tim Elfrink, Washington Post, "Trump shares manipulated video of Biden, replacing ‘Despacito’ with N.W.A’s anti-police anthem," 16 Sep. 2020 Instead of joining his teammates, Villanueva chose to write the name of U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Steelers lineman goes against entire team, opting to honor decorated war hero on helmet," 16 Sep. 2020 The 17-year-old who walked into her 10th-grade English class excelled in math but had never been taught how to write a proper sentence. Kristina Rizga, The Atlantic, "What Is Good Teaching?," 16 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for write

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for write

Last Updated

22 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Write.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/write. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for write


How to pronounce write (audio)

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 How to pronounce write (audio) \
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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Comments on write

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