\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

That's thanks to Boots Riley, who wrote and directed the film in his feature debut. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Sorry to Bother You' auteur Boots Riley: 'The world has made my script too on the nose'," 14 July 2018 Matt Walsh, a history professor at Des Moines Area Community College who wrote a book on Ray’s resettlement of Tai Dam refugees, said Ray’s action on immigration contrasts with modern politicians. Washington Post, "Former Iowa Gov. Ray’s legacy contrasts with modern GOP," 13 July 2018 The popularity of the program encouraged Hartwig to write a book about those rules and how to incorporate the one-month reset. Katie Parsons, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Whole30 diet is all the rage: What you need to know," 13 July 2018 Earthlings have been fascinated for centuries by the fourth rock from the sun, writing books, making movies and sending spacecraft there. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Night sky brings a treat this month as Mars is the brightest it has been in 15 years," 13 July 2018 The 37-year-old actually wrote the papers and took the tests. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Former Rockets star Yao Ming fulfills promise, gets college degree," 13 July 2018 Hopefully, wholly original movies written and directed by women, like Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, will join the slate, too. refinery29.com, "Looking Ahead To The 2019 Lineup, Will Hollywood Greenlight More Women-Led Projects?," 13 July 2018 Rawson Marshall Thurber, who made Central Intelligence with Johnson, wrote and directed the pic. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office: 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Beats 'Skyscraper' in Thursday Previews," 13 July 2018 Opponents of term-limits have argued setting term limits would give more power to congressional staffers and lobbyists who write legislation and would have more experience. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio Senate race: Jim Renacci said he only needs two terms in the Senate. Sherrod Brown's campaign calls Renacci's pledge 'worthless.'," 10 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about write

Dictionary Entries near write





write back

write down


Statistics for write

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for write

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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!