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

There are writings by the Dalai Lama, whom China considers a dangerous separatist, and a photograph of him. Raymond Zhong, New York Times, "China Snares Tourists’ Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App," 2 July 2019 Working with community leaders and local activists, Ms. Horowitz played a significant role in the research, coordination, and writing of the MassHealth Equality law, as it is colloquially known among advocates. Felicia Gans, BostonGlobe.com, "Gail Horowitz, an attorney who helped craft legal protections for LGBTQ elders, dies at 67," 1 July 2019 First of all, this UPPERCASE writing is considered yelling online. The Mercury News, "Problem Solved: Tidewater Workshop’s threats fall flat," 30 June 2019 Rachel Hewitt is a lecturer in creative writing at Newcastle University. The Economist, "For women, running is still an act of defiance," 28 June 2019 First of all, this UPPERCASE writing is considered yelling online. Christopher Elliott, courant.com, "A year is too long to wait for furniture," 28 June 2019 That forces speakers to pay close attention to the hierarchy of relationships resulting in a form of speech and writing that can be quite verbose, explained Ho Chi Ming, an associate professor in Japanese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "A less polite version of Japanese is helping foreigners stay safe during disasters," 27 June 2019 Only mildly marred by the sentimentality that infects so much American war writing, Hersey’s account of the first American land offensive of World War II, Into the Valley (1943), sated a fierce public thirst. Roy Scranton, The New Republic, "How John Hersey Bore Witness," 27 June 2019 Graduates of Berkeley's Asian American and Asian diaspora studies program have gone on to pursue a wide range of careers, Choy said, including leading nonprofits, teaching and writing. NBC News, "After 50 years, Asian American studies programs can still be hard to find," 27 June 2019

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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Statistics for writing

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on writing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with writing

Spanish Central: Translation of writing

Nglish: Translation of writing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of writing for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about writing

Comments on writing

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