Definition of write verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; raɪt
; roʊt
; ˈrɪtn


1 [intransitive, transitive] to make letters or numbers on a surface, especially using a pen or a pencilIn some countries children don't start learning to read and write until they are six.write in/on/with something Please write in pen on both sides of the paper.I haven't got anything to write with.write something Write your name at the top of the paper.The teacher wrote the answers on the board.The ‘b’ had been wrongly written as a ‘d’.


2 [transitive, intransitive] to produce something in written form so that people can read, perform or use it, etcwrite something to write a novel/a song/an essay/a computer program, etc.Who was ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ written by?Which opera did Verdi write first?write something about/on something He hopes to write a book about his experiences one day.She had to write a report on the project.write (about something) I wanted to travel and then write about it.He writes for the ‘New Yorker’ (= works as a writer).No decision has been made at the time of writing.write somebody something She wrote him several poems.

a letter

3 [intransitive, transitive] to put information, a message of good wishes, etc. in a letter and send it to somebodyBye! Don't forget to write.Can you write and confirm your booking?I'm writing to enquire about language courses.write to somebody She wrote to him in France.write something (to somebody) I wrote a letter to the Publicity Department.write somebody something I wrote the Publicity Department a letter.write that… She wrote that they were all fine.write somebody (North American English) Write me while you're away.write somebody that… (North American English) He wrote me that he would be arriving Monday.write doing something They wrote thanking us for the present.

state in writing

4 [transitive, intransitive] to state the information or the words mentionedwrite that… In his latest book he writes that the theory has since been disproved.write of something Ancient historians wrote of a lost continent beneath the ocean.+ speech ‘Of all my books,’ wrote Dickens, ‘I like this the best.’


5 [transitive] to put information in the appropriate places on a cheque or other formwrite something (out) to write out a chequewrite somebody (out) something I'll write you a receipt.The doctor wrote her a prescription for more antibiotics.


6 [transitive, intransitive] write (something) to/onto something to record data in the memory of a computerAn error was reported when he tried to write data to the file for the first time.

of pen/pencil

7 [intransitive] to work correctly or in the way mentionedThis pen won't write.

be written all over somebody's face

(of a feeling) to be very obvious to other people from the expression on somebody's faceGuilt was written all over his face.

have something/somebody written all over it/somebody

(informal) to show clearly the quality mentioned or the influence of the person mentionedIt was a performance with star quality written all over it.This essay has got Mike written all over it.

nothing (much) to write home about

(informal) not especially good; ordinaryThe team's performance was nothing to write home about.

that's all she wrote

(North American English, informal) used when you are stating that there is nothing more that can be said about something or that something is completely finishedWe were doing well but we ran out of money and that's all she wrote.
more at not worth the paper it's written/printed on at worth adjective
Phrasal verbs

write away

= write off/away

write back (to somebody)

to write somebody a letter replying to their letter
I'm afraid I never wrote back.She wrote back saying that she couldn't come.

write something down

1 to write something on paper, especially in order to remember or record itWrite down the address before you forget it.2 (business) to reduce the value of assets when stating it in a company's accountsAll stock over six months old was written down to 50%.the written-down value of the stock related noun write-down

write in (to somebody/something) (for something)

to write a letter to an organization or a company, for example to ask about something or to express an opinionI'll write in for more information.She wrote in to the BBC to complain.

write somebody/something in

(North American English, politics) to add an extra name to your voting paper in an election in order to be able to vote for them related noun write-in

write something into something

to include a rule or condition in a contract or an agreement when it is madeA penalty clause was written into the contract.

write off/away (to somebody/something) (for something)

to write to an organization or a company, usually in order to ask them to send you something
send off
I've written off for the catalogue.

write something off

1 (business) to cancel a debt; to recognize that something is a failure, has no value, etcto write off a debt/an investment2 (British English) to damage something, especially a vehicle, so badly that it cannot be repairedHe's written off two cars this year. related noun write-off see also total

write somebody/something off (as something)

to decide that somebody/something is a failure or not worth paying any attention to

write something out

to write something on paper, including all the details, especially a piece of work or an account of something see also write (5)

write somebody out (of something)

to remove a character from a regular series on television or radioShe was written out after 20 years in the role.

write something up

to record something in writing in a full and complete form, often using notes that you made earlierto write up your notes/the minutes of a meetingThey had to do a survey of the island and write up their findings. related noun write-up