from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To form (letters, words, or symbols) on a surface such as paper with an instrument such as a pen.
  • intransitive verb To form (letters or words) in cursive style, especially in contrast to printing by hand.
  • intransitive verb To spell.
  • intransitive verb To fill (an amount of space) with words or information.
  • intransitive verb To put written information in the blank spaces of (a check, form, or similar document).
  • intransitive verb To produce or compose (text) in a recorded form that can be read.
  • intransitive verb To express in writing; set down.
  • intransitive verb To communicate by writing, especially by written letter.
  • intransitive verb To communicate with (someone) by writing, especially by letter.
  • intransitive verb To compose (a musical work).
  • intransitive verb To underwrite, as an insurance policy.
  • intransitive verb To compose in legal form; draft.
  • intransitive verb To indicate; mark.
  • intransitive verb To ordain or prophesy.
  • intransitive verb Computers To transfer or copy (information) from memory to a storage device or output device.
  • intransitive verb To trace or form letters, words, or symbols on paper or another surface.
  • intransitive verb To produce written material, such as articles or books.
  • intransitive verb To compose a letter, e-mail, or other written communication.
  • idiom (write (one's) own ticket) To set one's own terms or course of action entirely according to one's own needs or wishes.
  • idiom (write the book on) To be the preeminent practitioner of or expert in (something).
  • idiom (writ large) Signified, expressed, or embodied in a greater or more prominent magnitude or degree.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Writing: chiefly in the phrase hand of write.
  • To trace or form upon the surface of some material (a significant character or characters, especially characters constituting or representing words); set down, in a manner adapted for reading, with a pen, pencil, style, or anything with which marks can be made; inscribe: as, to write a word on paper; to write one's name with the finger in sand.
  • To cover with writing; trace readable characters over the surface of.
  • To express or communicate in writing; give a written account of; make a record of, as something known, thought, or believed: as, to write one's observations; he wrote down all he could remember.
  • To set forth as an author, or produce in writing, either by one's own or another's hand; compose and produce as an author.
  • To designate by writing; style or entitle in writing; record: with an objective word or phrase.
  • To record; set down legibly; engrave.


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

[Middle English writen, from Old English wrītan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English writen, from Old English wrītan ("to incise, engrave, write, draw, bestow by writing"), from Proto-Germanic *wrītanan (“to carve, write”), from Proto-Indo-European *wrey- (“to rip, tear”). Cognate with West Frisian write ("to wear by rubbing, rip, tear"), Dutch wrijten ("to argue, quarrel"), Dutch rijten ("to rip, tear"), Low German wrieten, rieten ("to tear, split"), German reißen ("to tear, rip"), Swedish rita ("to draw, design, delineate, model"), Icelandic ríta ("to cut, scratch, write"), German ritzen ("to carve, scratch").


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  • 'I'm just going to write because I cannot help it.' -Charlotte Bronte

    February 20, 2008

  • The results of's "Write Like Sarah Palin" contest. (My favorite is the runner-up by Kaylyn Munro. Can't believe that one didn't take the prize.)

    December 4, 2009

  • I like the snow beaver one.

    December 4, 2009

  • AAAGH! *eyes seared*

    December 5, 2009

  • Modern day abacination! *Throws reesetee wet cloth*

    December 5, 2009

  • *pats eyes*

    Thanks, mollusque, but I'm afraid it's also seared into my brain. Oh, the humanity.

    December 6, 2009