write-off

1 of 2

noun

1
: an elimination of an item from the books of account
2
a
: a reduction in book value of an item (as by way of depreciation)
b
: a tax deduction of an amount of depreciation, expense, or loss
3
chiefly British : something (such as a damaged vehicle) or someone regarded or conceded as a loss

write off

2 of 2

verb

wrote off; written off; writing off; writes off

transitive verb

1
: to eliminate (an asset) from the books : enter as a loss or expense
write off a bad loan
2
: to regard or concede to be lost
most were content to write off 1979 and look optimistically ahead Money
also : dismiss
was written off as an expatriate highbrow Brendan Gill

Example Sentences

Verb most critics have already written off that director as a hack incapable of turning out anything but schlock that one blunder will write off to nothing all the goodwill we've been building up

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of write-off was in 1678

Dictionary Entries Near write-off

Cite this Entry

“Write-off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/write-off. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

write off

verb

1
: to take off the books : enter as a loss or expense
write off a bad debt
2
: to consider to be lost
the candidate has already written off the southern states
also : dismiss sense 3
wrote off my losing as bad luck

Legal Definition

write-off 1 of 2

noun

ˈrīt-ˌȯf
1
: the elimination of an asset or amount due from the books
2

write off

2 of 2

transitive verb

1
: to eliminate (an asset) from the books : enter as a loss or expense
write off a bad loan
2
: to use as a deduction in calculating taxable income
write off the cost as a business expense

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