From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. To set down, as legible characters; to form the conveyance of meaning; to inscribe on any material by a suitable instrument; as, to write the characters called letters; to write figures.

2. To set down for reading; to express in legible or intelligible characters; to inscribe; as, to write a deed; to write a bill of divorcement; hence, specifically, to set down in an epistle; to communicate by letter. Last night she enjoined me to write some lines to one she loves. (Shak) I chose to write the thing I durst not speak To her I loved. (prior)

3. Hence, to compose or produce, as an author. I purpose to write the history of England from the accession of king James the second down to a time within the memory of men still living. (Macaulay)

4. To impress durably; to imprint; to engrave; as, truth written on the heart.

5. To make known by writing; to record; to prove by one's own written testimony; often used reflexively. 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. (milton) To write to, to communicate by a written document to. Written laws, laws deriving their force from express legislative enactment, as contradistinguished from unwritten, or common, law. See the note under Law, and Common law.

Origin: OE. Writen, AS. Writan; originally, to scratch, to score; akin to 441 OS. Writan to write, to tear, to wound, D. Rijten to tear, to rend, G. Reissen, OHG. Rizan, Icel. Rita to write, Goth. Writs a stroke, dash, letter. Cf. Race tribe, lineage.