General English



  • To record, store, or otherwise transfer data to a memory location, storage device, magnetic stripe, or the like. Examples include copying data from RAM to hard disk, or from the CPU to RAM. The converse is a read (1).

Information & Library Science

  • verb to use a pen, pencil or computer to produce letters, numbers and symbols on paper so that other people can read them

Media Studies

  • verb to create books, poems or newspaper articles for publication, often as part of a job

Origin & History of “write”

The etymological notion underlying write is of ‘cutting’ or ‘scratching’ (it is related to German reissen ‘tear’). The earliest form of writing involved cutting marks on stone, wood, etc, and the same word was carried over when the technology of writing moved on to pen and ink. It comes from a prehistoric Germanic *wrītan, but its ultimate origins are not known. The noun writ (OE) goes back to the same Germanic base.