from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who writes, especially as an occupation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who writes, or produces literary work.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who writes, or has written; a scribe; a clerk.
  • n. One who is engaged in literary composition as a profession; an author.
  • n. A clerk of a certain rank in the service of the late East India Company, who, after serving a certain number of years, became a factor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person who understands or practises the art of writing; one who is able to write; a penman.
  • n. One who does writing as a business; a professional scribe, scrivener, or amanuensis: used specifically in England of clerks to the former East India Company, and of temporary copying clerks in government offices; in Scotland, loosely, of law agents, solicitors, attorneys, etc., and sometimes of their principal clerks.
  • n. A person who writes what he composes in his mind; the author of a written paper or of writings; an author in general; a literary producer of any kind: as, the writer of a letter; a writer of history or of fiction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who is able to write and has written something
  • n. writes (books or stories or articles or the like) professionally (for pay)


From Middle English, from Old English (Wiktionary)


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  • Knowing that a number of Wordizens make their living as editors of one sort or another, I thought you would enjoy this delightful quote from copy-editor John E. McIntyre's blog:

    The writer: To an editor (well, to some editors), the writer is an annoying inconvenience that nevertheless makes editing possible — the chicken that must be plucked, cleaned, and butchered before it can be turned into a delightful coq au vin. But you do have some obligation to make the text resemble the work of the author, perhaps dusted off and perfumed a little, but still recognizably the author more than you. The text should be not what you would have written, but what the author would have written had he been a better writer.

    June 19, 2009