Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday March 5, 2013
1. to compose or write, as a poem.
2. to treat in a literary composition.
3. Obsolete. to dictate.
4. Obsolete. to prescribe.
"Will it be any harm," he said to his friends, "in a piece you want to be written so low, if we should teach them how they should think and act in common cases, as well as indite?"
-- Samuel Richardson, A Quiet Corner in a Library, 1915
And then she called her father Sir Barnard and her brother Sir Tirry, and heartily she prayed her father that her brother might write a letter like as she did indite; and so her father granted her.
-- Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte D'arthur, 1470
Appearing in English in the mid-1300s, this wordy word comes from the Latin root dictare meaning "to declare, dictate, or compose in words." Combined with the prefix in-, indite literally means "to put down in writing."