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

According to the Associated Press, the panel of three judges questioned why Cosby's legal team never got a supposed 2005 non-prosecution agreement in writing or approved by a judge. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Bill Cosby's appeal of his sex-crime conviction goes before judges in crucial hearing," 12 Aug. 2019 Gloria was proficient in writing, ceramics and needlepoint. courant.com, "Gloria M. Gill," 10 Aug. 2019 Carlton Allen, a licensed vocational nurse and negotiator for the union, said at least a couple employees have received tentative 90-day notices from their managers, but not in writing. Bay City News Service, The Mercury News, "San Jose hospital workers who responded to Gilroy mass shooting say their jobs are in jeopardy," 9 Aug. 2019 Third, other football staff expressed, in writing, concerns with Smith’s behavior. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Five Key Takeaways From Ohio State's Records Release Involving Urban Meyer, Zach Smith," 2 Aug. 2019 Putting the terms in writing provides a kind of validation for those ideas. Alex Davies, WIRED, "The Senate's Transportation Plan Reckons With Climate Change," 1 Aug. 2019 Conveying irony in writing is tremendously important. Megan Mcdonough, Vox, "Is the internet killing language? LOL, no.," 29 July 2019 The company asked that questions be submitted in writing. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale water crisis could have been averted," 20 July 2019 Sarah Kovoor, Kalvitz’s attorney, declined comment until the settlement was in writing. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Lawsuit over Cleveland police union hall altercation settles before trial begins," 15 July 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

16 Aug 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

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


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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