verb \ˈrīt\

Definition of write


play \ˈrōt\;


play \ˈri-tən\ also


play \ˈrit\ or dialectal




play \ˈrī-tiŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 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 namec :  to spell in writing words written alike but pronounced differentlyd :  to cover, fill, or fill in by writing wrote ten pages write a check

  3. 2 :  to set down in writing: such asa :  draw up, draft write a willb (1) :  to be the author of :  compose writes poems and essays (2) :  to compose in musical form write a string quartetc :  to express in literary form if I could write the beauty of your eyes — William Shakespeared :  to communicate by letter writes that they are cominge :  to use or exhibit (a specific script, language, or literary form or style) in writing write Braille writes French with easef :  to write contracts or orders for; especially :  underwrite write life insurance

  4. 3 :  to make a permanent impression of

  5. 4 :  to communicate with in writing we'll write you when we get there

  6. 5 :  ordain, fate so be it, it is written — D. C. Peattie

  7. 6 :  to make evident or obvious guilt written on his face

  8. 7 :  to force, effect, introduce, or remove by writing write oneself into fame and fortune — Charles Lee

  9. 8 :  to take part in or bring about (something worth recording)

  10. 9a :  to introduce (information) into the storage device or medium of a computerb :  to transfer (information) from the main memory of a computer to a storage or output device

  11. 10 :  sell write a stock option

  12. intransitive verb
  13. 1a :  to make significant characters or inscriptions; also :  to permit or be adapted to writingb :  to form or produce written letters, words, or sentences

  14. 2 :  to compose, communicate by, or send a letter

  15. 3a :  to produce a written workb :  to compose music

write one's own ticket

  1. :  to select a course of action or position entirely according to one's wishes

writ large

  1. :  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

  1. :  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.

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

First Known Use: before 12th century

WRITE Defined for English Language Learners


verb \ˈrīt\

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






  1. 1 :  to form letters or words with pen or pencil The kindergartners are learning to write.

  2. 2 :  to form the letters or the words of (as on paper) Write your name.

  3. 3 :  to put down on paper For homework, write about your vacation.

  4. 4 :  to make up and set down for others to read I'm writing a novel.

  5. 5 :  to compose music

  6. 6 :  to communicate with someone by sending a letter

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up write? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.