Definition of writing in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɪtɪŋ/


[mass noun]
1The activity or skill of writing: parents want schools to concentrate on reading, writing, and arithmetic
More example sentences
  • Proposal writing is a vital skill that many business owners haven't mastered.
  • The skill of writing, however, did not become common in the West for hundreds of years.
  • It's an academic course and there's lots of reading and writing.
1.1A sequence of letters, words, or symbols marked on a surface: a leather product with gold writing on it he asked them to put their complaints in writing
More example sentences
  • In cuneiform writing, words are represented by signs incised into clay tablets by a wedge-shaped instrument.
  • Mr Shackleton remembered his attacker was wearing a navy blue crew-neck sweater with a badge emblem and red writing on it.
  • There is a sign by the door, embedded writing on a gold plate, but she is too far away to read it.
1.2Handwriting: his writing looked crabbed
More example sentences
  • Her eyes skimmed the familiar writing and descended knowingly on that one sentence that seemed to haunt her desperately.
  • The writing seemed oddly familiar, but Sakura couldn't remember who wrote like that.
  • The writing seemed familiar but he couldn't quite put his thumb on whose exactly it was.
handwriting, hand, script, penmanship, pen, print, printing, longhand, calligraphy, chirography;
informal scribble, scrawl, fist
2The activity or occupation of composing text for publication: she made a decent living from writing
More example sentences
  • Lawrence's nomadic life supplied him with material for much of his writing and he wrote four travel books of a very personal kind.
  • Speaking for myself, I would say it is possible to make a living out of writing.
  • I have not worked at a job for nine years, doing only freelance writing.
2.1Written work, especially with regard to its style or quality: the writing is straightforward and accessible
More example sentences
  • Oh, his writing has a certain style and he can say a simple thing.
  • There are vast differences of thought and style within classical writing.
  • He makes this point in his Clarkson style in a brilliant piece of writing for the Sunday Times.
2.2 (writings) Books, stories, or other written works: the writings of Gertrude Stein
More example sentences
  • An annotated bibliography of his writings on Cornish folklore is also presented.
  • The Jewish prayer book is drawn from the writings of the Jewish people across the ages.
  • Chomsky's political writings are littered with violations of these conventions.
compositions, works, oeuvre, opus, books, volumes, publications, titles, tomes;
papers, articles, essays
2.3 (the Writings) The Hagiographa.
Example sentences
  • The tripartite division of Jewish tradition into Law, Prophets, and Writings does not favor a midpoint, or at least has not led to a discussion of center, despite the importance of the Torah.
  • When the time comes that these young students and mature scholars become rabbis in Israel and have to prepare Derashot, or sermons, they will surely need to search in Prophets and Writings for texts.
  • But there is a secondary history (Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah) included in the Writings.


the writing (or North American handwriting) is on the wall

There are clear signs that something unpleasant or unwelcome is going to happen: the writing was on the wall for the old system
With biblical allusion to Dan. 5:5, 25–8
More example sentences
  • However, although the writing is on the wall for the old hospital buildings at Bishopstoke, residents have been given a glimmer of hope in the possibility of rebuilding new services on the site.
  • When the handwriting is on the wall, it's prudent to get your ‘true’ position on the record before anyone thinks you were responsible for the failure.
  • Obviously, it would be a seismic shift at the New York Stock Exchange, but I think the handwriting is on the wall.
omen, ill omen, bad omen, portent, sign, indication, presage, warning, forewarning, foreshadowing, forecast, harbinger, augury, threat, menace, signal, hint, straw in the wind
literary foretoken

Words that rhyme with writing

backlighting, lighting, self-righting, sighting, unexciting, uninviting, whiting

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: writ¦ing

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