writ·​ing | \ ˈrī-tiŋ How to pronounce writing (audio) \

Definition of writing

1 : the act or process of one who writes: such as
a : the act or art of forming visible letters or characters specifically : handwriting sense 1
b : the act or practice of literary or musical composition
2 : something written: such as
a : letters or characters that serve as visible signs of ideas, words, or symbols
b : a letter, note, or notice used to communicate or record
c : a written composition
3 : a style or form of composition
4 : the occupation of a writer especially : the profession of authorship
writing on the wall
: an omen or sign of one's unpleasant fate No one told him he was going to be fired, but he could see the writing on the wall. [=he could see that he was going to be fired soon]

Examples of writing in a Sentence

Writing usually isn't a lucrative career, but it has been very fulfilling for me. He teaches creative writing at the university. Few people nowadays care about the art of letter writing. The novel's plot is okay, but the writing is horrible. I asked a friend to critique my writing. Her essay was a wonderful piece of writing. She has a unique writing style. Much of the best Japanese writing has not been translated into English. the writings of Benjamin Franklin a book of selected writings on moral philosophy
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Recent Examples on the Web But in the late-19th century, the practice became more associated with the idea that a human skin binding could encase great writing like the body encases a soul. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Literature’s Most Curious Creations," 6 Apr. 2021 Throwing himself into script writing, an entirely different playing field from working as a foreign correspondent, is just one example of the many ways in which Bilefsky has pursued occupations outside of his comfort zone and reaped the benefits. Karl Moore, Forbes, "Living Fearlessly With The New York Times’s Dan Bilefsky," 6 Apr. 2021 This metric has been rising and, as of Ramesh’s writing, was above the Fed’s target rate for CPI. Jerry Bowyer, National Review, "Not-So-Great Expectations: Why Treasuries Don’t Tell the Whole Inflation Story," 6 Apr. 2021 The discussion took place during the first meeting of the Legislature's budget-writing process, when members of the finance committee heard testimony from DPI officials and will question Department of Workforce Development leaders later Tuesday. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin schools receive $2.2 billion in federal relief funding, Milwaukee to get $797 million," 6 Apr. 2021 The position at Duke allowed Mackey more time to focus on writing. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Nathaniel Mackey’s Long Song," 5 Apr. 2021 Strong and Kaluuya commit to these divorcing weirdos, and the writing does a nice job of communicating their idiosyncratic banter — including a playful section in which Aidy Bryant’s character unwittingly asks the players for an encore. Matthew Love, Vulture, "Saturday Night Live Recap: Daniel Kaluuya Wants You … Vaxxed," 5 Apr. 2021 But rigorous simplicity isn’t always the exemplar of great writing. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times, "Ken Burns’ new Hemingway documentary doesn’t give you a reason to read Hemingway," 5 Apr. 2021 There is, inherently, a timelessness to great writing. Star Tribune, "Beverly Cleary's stories about normal kids endure," 4 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'writing.' 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 writing

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for writing

Time Traveler

The first known use of writing was in the 13th century

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Statistics for writing

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Writing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/writing. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for writing



English Language Learners Definition of writing

: the activity or work of writing books, poems, stories, etc.
: the way that you use written words to express your ideas or opinions
: books, poems, essays, letters, etc.


writ·​ing | \ ˈrī-tiŋ \

Kids Definition of writing

1 : the act of a person who writes
2 : handwriting I can't read his writing.
3 : something (as a letter or book) that is written

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Comments on writing

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