\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

In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 photo, Chip Paul, who helped write the medical marijuana state question and push for its passage, answers a question for a reporter before a meeting of the Oklahoma Board of Health in Oklahoma City. Washington Post, "Conservative states balk at voter-approved medical marijuana," 13 July 2018 In December Natalia Viana, who founded Agência Pública seven years ago with a group of other women, gathered her staff to write the outlet’s first business plan. The Economist, "Latin America’s new media are growing up," 14 July 2018 We're caught in this bad equilibrium where everybody has to write clickbait stuff. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Judd Legum Wants to Fix News With a Newsletter," 12 July 2018 Emma Couling, a theater critic at Newcity Stage, wrote a piece on the accountability of white arts journalists. Katie Powers, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Media / Theater Profiles abuse scandal inspires new magazine examining Chicago theater," 12 July 2018 On June 28, members of the Ramona Design Review Board and Ramona Village Design Board in a 9-2 vote jointly approved to write a letter of support endorsing the addition of the eucalyptus colonnade to the National Register of Historic Places. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Garden advocate wants Ramona Street completion off priority list," 11 July 2018 He is allowed to write emails and make an unlimited number of 15-minute calls to his lawyers. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Manafort Is a ‘VIP’ in Jail With His Own Phone, Laptop, and Shower," 11 July 2018 Jobs initially abhorred the idea of allowing software developers to write programs for the phone. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Celebrating Apple's Lucrative Switcheroo," 11 July 2018 People are encouraged to write messages to the family on the shells with their thoughts and prayers. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Despite 'high risk' warning and drownings, Cape Hatteras sees record number of tourists," 9 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

10 Nov 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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by force of circumstances

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