write

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English writen, from Old English wrītan (to incise, engrave, write, draw, bestow by writing), from Proto-Germanic *wrītaną (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).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

write (third-person singular simple present writes, present participle writing, simple past wrote or (archaic) writ, past participle written or (archaic) writ)

A painting of a man writing.
  1. (transitive, intransitive) To form letters, words or symbols on a surface in order to communicate.
    The pupil wrote his name on the paper.
    Your son has been writing on the wall.
  2. (transitive) To be the author of (a book, article, poem, etc.).
    My uncle writes newspaper articles for The Herald.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, Prologue:
      Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language []; his clerks, however, understood him very well. If he had written a love letter, or a farce, or a ballade, or a story, no one, either clerks, or friends, or compositors, would have understood anything but a word here and a word there.
  3. (transitive) To send written information to.
    (UK) Please write to me when you get there.
    (US) Please write me when you get there.
  4. (transitive) To show (information, etc) in written form.
    The due day of the homework is written in the syllabus.
  5. (intransitive) To be an author.
    I write for a living.
  6. (transitive, computing) To record (data) mechanically or electronically.
    The computer writes to the disk faster than it reads from it.
  7. (transitive, South Africa, Canada, of a form, a document, etc.) To fill in, to complete using words.
    I was very anxious to know my score after I wrote the test.
  8. To impress durably; to imprint; to engrave.
    truth written on the heart
  9. To make known by writing; to record; to prove by one's own written testimony; often used reflexively.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      He who writes himself by his own inscription is like an ill painter, who, by writing on a shapeless picture which he hath drawn, is fain to tell passengers what shape it is, which else no man could imagine.

Synonyms[edit]

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Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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Noun[edit]

write (plural writes)

  1. (computing) The operation of storing data, as in memory or onto disk.
    How many writes per second can this hard disk handle?
    • 2006, MySQL administrator's guide and language reference (page 393)
      In other words, the system can do 1200 reads per second with no writes, the average write is twice as slow as the average read, and the relationship is linear.

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