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 Call-and-response writing for violins was clarified by having firsts and seconds divided left and right on the stage, as was the norm well into the 20th century. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Wonderfully fresh Beethoven from violinist Midori and the Fort Worth Symphony," 9 Feb. 2020 The lead can retract or advance at a click, and uses Pentel’s tough, smooth writing lead. Popular Science, "The best mechanical pencils for drafting or drawing," 5 Feb. 2020 His colleagues included graduates of Yale, Northwestern and University of Texas law schools and former prosecutors and defense attorneys chosen for their strong analytical and writing skills. Author: Beth Reinhard, Anne Gearan, Anchorage Daily News, "Most clemency grants bypass Justice Department and go to well-connected offenders," 3 Feb. 2020 The Cave won the Audience Award at the Camden International Film Festival and the best writing award at the International Documentary Association’s Documentary Awards. National Geographic, "Oscar nomination highlights Syrians’ plight—and one medic’s courageous work," 3 Feb. 2020 James cared about his writing style — and was delighted that so many people in his day experienced his textbook chapters as rousing sermons. TheWeek, "How William James encourages us to believe in the possible," 2 Feb. 2020 Recently, Sallee was in the middle of writing up some legal papers for Burgess' newest venture, Smoky’s Concession Stand in Lapel. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "This is Larry Bird's lawyer and he is an absolute character," 1 Feb. 2020 Funding, applied for and received in crazed round-robins of grant-writing, tends to reward low-risk experiments. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Health," 1 Feb. 2020 The widest gap was in the English portion of the exam, which tests students' knowledge of grammar and other writing conventions. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Analysis of ACT results finds fewer than half of Wisconsin high school juniors college-ready," 31 Jan. 2020

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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Writing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/writing. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for writing


How to pronounce writing (audio)

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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