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writ1

[rit] /rɪt/
noun
1.
Law.
  1. a formal order under seal, issued in the name of a sovereign, government, court, or other competent authority, enjoining the officer or other person to whom it is issued or addressed to do or refrain from some specified act.
  2. (in early English law) any formal document in letter form, under seal, and in the sovereign's name.
2.
something written; a writing:
sacred writ.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old Norse rit writing, Gothic writs letter. See write

writ2

[rit] /rɪt/
verb, Archaic.
1.
a simple past tense and past participle of write.

write

[rahyt] /raɪt/
verb (used with object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; written or (Archaic) writ; writing.
1.
to trace or form (characters, letters, words, etc.) on the surface of some material, as with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means; inscribe:
Write your name on the board.
2.
to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of.
3.
to fill in the blank spaces of (a printed form) with writing:
to write a check.
4.
to execute or produce by setting down words, figures, etc.:
to write two copies of a letter.
5.
to compose and produce in words or characters duly set down:
to write a letter to a friend.
6.
to produce as author or composer:
to write a sonnet; to write a symphony.
7.
to trace significant characters on, or mark or cover with writing.
8.
to cause to be apparent or unmistakable:
Honesty is written on his face.
9.
Computers. to transfer (information, data, programs, etc.) from storage to secondary storage or an output medium.
10.
Stock Exchange. to sell (options).
11.
to underwrite.
verb (used without object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; written or (Archaic) writ; writing.
12.
to trace or form characters, words, etc., with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means, or as a pen or the like does:
He writes with a pen.
13.
to write as a profession or occupation: She writes for the Daily Inquirer.
14.
to express ideas in writing.
15.
to write a letter or letters, or communicate by letter:
Write if you get work.
16.
to compose or work as a writer or author.
17.
Computers. to write into a secondary storage device or output medium.
Verb phrases
18.
write down,
  1. to set down in writing; record; note.
  2. to direct one's writing to a less intelligent reader or audience:
    He writes down to the public.
19.
write in,
  1. to vote for (a candidate not listed on the ballot) by writing his or her name on the ballot.
  2. to include in or add to a text by writing:
    Do not write in corrections on the galley.
  3. to request something by mail:
    If interested, please write in for details.
20.
write off,
  1. to cancel an entry in an account, as an unpaid and uncollectable debt.
  2. to regard as worthless, lost, obsolete, etc.; decide to forget:
    to write off their bad experience.
  3. to amortize:
    The new equipment was written off in three years.
21.
write out,
  1. to put into writing.
  2. to write in full form; state completely.
  3. to exhaust the capacity or resources of by excessive writing:
    He's just another author who has written himself out.
22.
write up,
  1. to put into writing, especially in full detail:
    Write up a report.
  2. to present to public notice in a written description or account.
  3. Accounting. to make an excessive valuation of (an asset).
Origin
before 900; Middle English writen, Old English wrītan; cognate with Old Saxon wrītan to cut, write, German reissen to tear, draw, Old Norse rīta to score, write
Related forms
miswrite, verb (used with object), miswrote, miswritten, miswriting.
Can be confused
right, rite, wright, write.
Synonyms
6. compose, pen, author, draft, create.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for writ
  • The writ itself is technically an order to the lower court to provide the record of the case to the higher court.
  • Sports fans, in this view, are nationalists writ small.
  • Its writ can trump that of national governments when the single market is thought to be at risk.
  • Debt forgiveness is, loosely, a write-off writ large.
  • Loss of civility and a sense of decorum and decency goes a long way toward explaining road rage writ large on the landscape.
  • The state had to enforce its writ where it was being so criminally flouted.
  • The government's writ runs over some previously lawless areas of a vast country.
  • writ small, it suggested an ability to honour financial commitments forever.
  • Well, the list is about science writ large, which includes technology.
  • However more politically moribund it may become, its writ still has a year and a half to go.
British Dictionary definitions for writ

writ1

/rɪt/
noun
1.
(law) (formerly) a document under seal, issued in the name of the Crown or a court, commanding the person to whom it is addressed to do or refrain from doing some specified act Official name claim
2.
(archaic) a piece or body of writing Holy Writ
Word Origin
Old English; related to Old Norse rit, Gothic writs stroke, Old High German riz (German Riss a tear). See write

writ2

/rɪt/
verb
1.
(archaic or dialect) a past tense and past participle of write
2.
writ large, plain to see; very obvious

write

/raɪt/
verb writes, writing, wrote, written
1.
to draw or mark (symbols, words, etc) on a surface, usually paper, with a pen, pencil, or other instrument
2.
to describe or record (ideas, experiences, etc) in writing
3.
to compose (a letter) to or correspond regularly with (a person, organization, etc)
4.
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to say or communicate by letter he wrote that he was on his way
5.
(transitive) (informal, mainly US & Canadian) to send a letter to (a person, etc)
6.
to write (words) in cursive as opposed to printed style
7.
(transitive) to be sufficiently familiar with (a specified style, language, etc) to use it in writing
8.
to be the author or composer of (books, music, etc)
9.
(transitive) to fill in the details for (a document, form, etc)
10.
(transitive) to draw up or draft
11.
(transitive) to produce by writing he wrote ten pages
12.
(transitive) to show clearly envy was written all over his face
13.
(transitive) to spell, inscribe, or entitle
14.
(transitive) to ordain or prophesy it is written
15.
(transitive) to sit (an examination)
16.
(intransitive) to produce writing as specified
17.
(computing) to record (data) in a location in a storage device Compare read1 (sense 16)
18.
(transitive) Compare underwrite (sense 3a)
Derived Forms
writable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wrītan (originally: to scratch runes into bark); related to Old Frisian wrīta, Old Norse rīta, Old High German rīzan (German reissen to tear)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for writ
n.

Old English writ "something written, piece of writing," from the past participle stem of writan (see write). Used of legal documents or instruments since at least 1121.

write

v.

Old English writan "to score, outline, draw the figure of," later "to set down in writing" (class I strong verb; past tense wrat, past participle writen), from Proto-Germanic *writanan "tear, scratch" (cf. Old Frisian writa "to write," Old Saxon writan "to tear, scratch, write," Old Norse rita "write, scratch, outline," Old High German rizan "to write, scratch, tear," German reißen "to tear, pull, tug, sketch, draw, design"), outside connections doubtful. Words for "write" in most I.E languages originally mean "carve, scratch, cut" (cf. Latin scribere, Greek grapho, Sanskrit rikh-); a few originally meant "paint" (cf. Gothic meljan, Old Church Slavonic pisati, and most of the modern Slavic cognates).

For men use to write an evill turne in marble stone, but a good turne in the dust. [More, 1513]
To write (something) off (1680s) originally was from accounting; figurative sense is recorded from 1889. Write-in "unlisted candidate" is recorded from 1932.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with writ
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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