[rahyt-awf, -of]
a cancellation from the accounts as a loss.
an uncollectable account.
a reduction in book value; depreciation.
Informal. a person or thing that is given up as hopeless or pointless: Joe's college career is a write-off.

1745–55; noun use of verb phrase write off

Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used with object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; written or (Archaic) writ; writing.
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.
to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of.
to fill in the blank spaces of (a printed form) with writing: to write a check.
to execute or produce by setting down words, figures, etc.: to write two copies of a letter.
to compose and produce in words or characters duly set down: to write a letter to a friend.
to produce as author or composer: to write a sonnet; to write a symphony.
to trace significant characters on, or mark or cover with writing.
to cause to be apparent or unmistakable: Honesty is written on his face.
Computers. to transfer (information, data, programs, etc.) from storage to secondary storage or an output medium.
Stock Exchange. to sell (options).
to underwrite.
verb (used without object), wrote or (Archaic) writ; written or (Archaic) writ; writing.
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.
to write as a profession or occupation: She writes for the Daily Inquirer.
to express ideas in writing.
to write a letter or letters, or communicate by letter: Write if you get work.
to compose or work as a writer or author.
Computers. to write into a secondary storage device or output medium.
Verb phrases
write down,
to set down in writing; record; note.
to direct one's writing to a less intelligent reader or audience: He writes down to the public.
write in,
to vote for (a candidate not listed on the ballot) by writing his or her name on the ballot.
to include in or add to a text by writing: Do not write in corrections on the galley.
to request something by mail: If interested, please write in for details.
write off,
to cancel an entry in an account, as an unpaid and uncollectable debt.
to regard as worthless, lost, obsolete, etc.; decide to forget: to write off their bad experience.
to amortize: The new equipment was written off in three years.
write out,
to put into writing.
to write in full form; state completely.
to exhaust the capacity or resources of by excessive writing: He's just another author who has written himself out.
write up,
to put into writing, especially in full detail: Write up a report.
to present to public notice in a written description or account.
Accounting. to make an excessive valuation of (an asset).

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

miswrite, verb (used with object), miswrote, miswritten, miswriting.

right, rite, wright, write.

6. compose, pen, author, draft, create.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To write off
World English Dictionary
write (raɪt)
vb , 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.  (tr; may take a clause as object) to say or communicate by letter: he wrote that he was on his way
5.  informal chiefly (US), (Canadian) (tr) to send a letter to (a person, etc)
6.  to write (words) in cursive as opposed to printed style
7.  (tr) 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.  (tr) to fill in the details for (a document, form, etc)
10.  (tr) to draw up or draft
11.  (tr) to produce by writing: he wrote ten pages
12.  (tr) to show clearly: envy was written all over his face
13.  (tr) to spell, inscribe, or entitle
14.  (tr) to ordain or prophesy: it is written
15.  (tr) to sit (an examination)
16.  (intr) to produce writing as specified
17.  computing Compare read to record (data) in a location in a storage device
18.  (tr) Compare underwrite
[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)]

write off
1.  accounting
 a.  to cancel (a bad debt or obsolete asset) from the accounts
 b.  to consider (a transaction, etc) as a loss or set off (a loss) against revenues
 c.  to depreciate (an asset) by periodic charges
 d.  to charge (a specified amount) against gross profits as depreciation of an asset
2.  to cause or acknowledge the complete loss of
3.  to send a written order for (something): she wrote off for a brochure
4.  informal to damage (something, esp a car) beyond repair
5.  accounting
 a.  the act of cancelling a bad debt or obsolete asset from the accounts
 b.  the bad debt or obsolete asset cancelled
 c.  the amount cancelled against gross profits, corresponding to the book value of the bad debt or obsolete asset
6.  informal something damaged beyond repair, esp a car

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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Word Origin & History

O.E. writan "to score, outline, draw the figure of," later "to set down in writing" (class I strong verb; past tense wrat, pp. writen), from P.Gmc. *writanan "tear, scratch" (cf. O.Fris. writa "to write," O.S. writan "to tear, scratch, write," O.N. rita "write, scratch, outline," O.H.G. rizan "to write,
scratch, tear," Ger. 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. L. scribere, Gk. grapho, Skt. rikh-); a few originally meant "paint" (cf. Goth. meljan, O.C.S. 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 (1682) originally was from accounting; fig. sense is recorded from 1889. Write-in "unlisted candidate" is recorded from 1932.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

write off

  1. Reduce an asset's book value to zero because it is worthless, as in The truck was wrecked completely, so we can write it off. [Late 1600s]

  2. Cancel from an account as a loss, as in Since they'll never be able to pay back what they owe, let's just write off that debt. [Late 1800s] Also see charge off, def. 2.

  3. Regard as a failure or worthless, as in There was nothing to do but write off the first day of our trip because of the bad weather, or She resented their tendency to write her off as a mere housewife. [Late 1800s]

  4. Amortize, as in We can write off the new computer network in two years or less. Also see charge off, def. 2.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
We need more research, not wholesale write off of one of our best resources.
The researchers didn't write off the wriggly therapy entirely.
Before you write off a theory, you should consider what makes a good theory.
Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make
  this year.
Idioms & Phrases
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