Definition of write something off in English:

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write something off

1 (write someone/thing off) Dismiss someone or something as insignificant: they were written off as a bunch of no-hopers
More example sentences
  • But the boys were up for it, mainly because we had been written off and it was the last chance to win anything.
  • No-one gave us a chance and when we were five points down at half-time everyone wrote us off but the team went out in the second half and won by five.
  • The football world wrote us off as another lower league casualty, but we did not give up.
disregard, regard as finished, consider unimportant, dismiss, ignore
2Cancel the record of a bad debt; acknowledge the loss of or failure to recover an asset: he urged the banks to write off debt owed by poorer countries
More example sentences
  • Rather than report it as fraud, they simply write it off as a bad debt.
  • Some debts are written off, although creditors are reluctant to do so.
  • The essential problem is that as fast as bad debts are written off new ones are created by the deflationary contraction in the economy.
forget about, disregard, give up on, give up for lost, cancel, annul, nullify, wipe out, cross out, score out
2.1British Damage a vehicle so badly that it cannot be repaired or is not worth repairing.
Example sentences
  • A claimant whose motor car is damaged by the negligent driving of the defendant will either incur expense in putting right the damage or discard the vehicle, i.e., write it off as uneconomic to repair.
  • Magistrates heard that the man used a concrete slab to smash every window in the vehicle and cause such extensive damage that the vehicle was written off by the insurance company.
  • He said at least two vehicles were written off and that the total cost of the damage could amount to £150,000 though the final figures were still not known.
wreck, damage beyond repair, smash, smash up, crash, destroy, demolish, ruin
British informal prang
North American informal total
See parent entry: write
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