\ ˈrīt-ˌȯf How to pronounce write-off (audio) \

Definition of write-off

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an elimination of an item from the books of account
2a : 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

wrote off; written off; writing off; writes off

Definition of write off (Entry 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 regard or concede to be lost most were content to write off 1979 and look optimistically aheadMoney also : dismiss was written off as an expatriate highbrow — Brendan Gill

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of write-off in a Sentence

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

First Known Use of write-off


1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about write-off

Time Traveler for write-off

Time Traveler

The first known use of write-off was in 1678

See more words from the same year

Statistics for write-off

Cite this Entry

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for write-off


\ ˈrīt-ˌȯf \

Legal Definition of write-off

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the elimination of an asset or amount due from the books

write off

transitive verb

Legal Definition of write off (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on write-off

Nglish: Translation of write-off for Spanish Speakers

Comments on write-off

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!