handwriting on the wall

handwriting

[hand-rahy-ting]
noun
1.
writing done with a pen or pencil in the hand; script.
2.
a style or manner of writing by hand, especially that which characterizes a particular person; penmanship: an eccentric handwriting.
3.
a handwritten document; manuscript.
Idioms
4.
handwriting on the wall, a premonition, portent, or clear indication, especially of failure or disaster: The company had ignored the handwriting on the wall and was plunged into bankruptcy. Also, writing on the wall.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English hand writyng; see hand + writing

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
handwriting (ˈhændˌraɪtɪŋ)
 
n
1.  writing by hand rather than by typing or printing
2.  a person's characteristic writing style: that signature is in my handwriting

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

handwriting
1500, from hand + writing (see write), translating L. manuscriptum. Hand in the sense of "handwriting, style of writing" is from 1390.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Handwriting definition


(Col. 2:14). The "blotting out the handwriting" is the removal by the grace of the gospel of the condemnation of the law which we had broken.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

handwriting on the wall

Also, writing on the wall. A warning or presentiment of danger, as in The company was losing money, and seeing the handwriting on the wall, she started to look for another job. This expression comes from the Bible (Daniel 5:5-31), in which the prophet interprets some mysterious writing that a disembodied hand has inscribed on the palace wall, telling King Belshazzar that he will be overthrown.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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