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]

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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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web Frank Management is open to representing clients across all disciplines, including acting, writing and filmmaking. Patrick Frater, Variety, 23 May 2022 In terms of writing and editing, the beginning gives you everything. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 21 May 2022 Emily Bazelon is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and the Truman Capote fellow for creative writing and law at Yale Law School. New York Times, 20 May 2022 This story was produced in collaboration with an Emerson writing and publishing course. Kim Costigan, BostonGlobe.com, 18 May 2022 However, with recent forays into directing, children’s book writing and producing, Tatum seems to be establishing himself as more than just a box office draw. Rosa Escandon, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Many start with noncredit courses to improve their writing and math skills, then move to full-credit offerings. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, 18 May 2022 Meanwhile, Kim and Tauri turn to art forms like graphic design, writing, and dance to spread awareness about mental health and prioritizing wellness. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 12 May 2022 My own reading turned up poor annotation and sloppy factual errors, including mischaracterizations of the circumstances around the writing and editing of Anne’s diary. Ruth Franklin, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2022 See More

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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Buying Guide

Spruce up your space with writing desks selected by our Reviews team.

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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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Dictionary Entries Near writing



writing arm

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Statistics for writing

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Writing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/writing. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for writing


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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