There are 2 main definitions of writ in English:

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writ 1

Pronunciation: /rɪt/


1A form of written command in the name of a court or other legal authority to act, or abstain from acting, in a particular way: the two reinstated officers issued a writ for libel against the applicants an action begun by writ or summons
More example sentences
  • The applicant commenced proceedings in this Court for writs of mandamus, certiorari and injunctions.
  • In September 2004, the applicant filed an application in the High Court for the constitutional writs of certiorari and mandamus.
  • Where a court or a public officer wrongly refuses jurisdiction the exercise of the jurisdiction can be commanded by a writ of mandamus.
summons, subpoena, warrant, arraignment, indictment, court order, process, decree;
North American  citation;
1.1chiefly British A Crown document summoning a peer to Parliament or ordering the election of a member or members of Parliament.
Example sentences
  • This was the day that the writ for the election of members of this Parliament was returned.
  • Clark said nominations for the election will close July 2, following the issuing of the election writs June 25.
  • You would have to be developing this now, rather than waking up the day that writs are issued for election and wanting to build this within a couple of weeks.
1.2 (one's writ) One’s power to enforce compliance or submission; one’s authority: you have business here which is out of my writ and competence
More example sentences
  • Azor holds this land from Robert [d' Oilly], but the men of the Hundred testify that he ought to hold it from the King, as King William restored it to him at Windsor and gave him his writ for it.
  • The land itself is his gift; whoever owns any portion of it must show the writ and seal of the giver, or must at least bring such evidence as the law demands to prove that it has really been granted to him.
  • he uttered no protest against the writ in which William King of England - the new-fangled title was now coming in - announced to all his faithful subjects, French and English, that he had given the archbishopric of Canterbury and all that belonged to it to Archbishop Anselm.
2 archaic A piece or body of writing.
Example sentences
  • And Percivale took it, and found therein a writ and so he read it, and devised the manner of the spindles and of the ship, whence it came, and by whom it was made.
  • This is the first few lines of a writ of Henry III, from 1234.


Old English, as a general term denoting written matter, from the Germanic base of write.

Words that rhyme with writ

acquit, admit, backlit, bedsit, befit, bit, Brit, Britt, chit, commit, demit, dit, emit, fit, flit, frit, git, grit, hit, intermit, it, kit, knit, legit, lickety-split, lit, manumit, mishit, mitt, nit, omit, outsit, outwit, permit, pit, Pitt, pretermit, quit, remit, retrofit, sit, skit, slit, snit, spit, split, sprit, squit, submit, transmit, twit, whit, wit, zit
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There are 2 main definitions of writ in English:

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writ 2

Pronunciation: /rɪt/


archaic past participle of write.
Example sentences
  • And no doubt it is part of our middle western definition of community, writ in the dictionary of our hearts, not scrawled on some public wall.
  • There is no dogma - ‘… none of these are writ in stone’ - is one comment on his site.
  • Was it writ all over my face that I was a first time visitor to their city, with my nerves in top gear?


writ large

Clear and obvious: the unspoken question was writ large upon Rose’s face
More example sentences
  • Obviously, dejection was writ large on his face, as he could not get more ‘coverage’.
  • That observation is writ large if one looks at the history of the bill.
  • The anger of victims confronted with the complacency and hostility of local and federal authorities was writ large on their faces and made clear in their comments to reporters.
1.1In a stark or exaggerated form: bribing people by way of tax allowances is the paternalistic state writ large
More example sentences
  • Foer's work locates itself somewhere in this shifting landscape, between memory and monumentality, image and immortality: it's the personal odyssey writ large.
  • But I think that the superhero-as-metaphor involves a superhero being some sort of intellectual, emotional, or other such concept writ large.
  • The supercharged psyche of young adulthood is writ large on the landscape: nothing is as it seems, and every tiny item - a rock, a song, a glance - means more than it can possibly say.
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