Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

write off - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theywrite off
he/she/itwrites off
present participlewriting off
past tensewrote off
past participlewritten off
Related words
  1. 1
    [transitive] to say officially that someone does not have to pay an amount of money

    The U.S. government agreed to write off debts of $170 billion.

    1. a.
      to accept that you will not receive money that you hoped someone would give back

      The money they have spent will have to be written off.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to decide that someone or something will not succeed and so to stop giving them your attention and energy

    He thought the teachers had written him off.

  3. 3

    write off


    write away

    [intransitive] to write to an organization asking for something
    write off for:

    Why don’t you write off for more details?

  4. 4
    [transitive] to say that something is not worth anything, for example a machine used to make something

    After five years you can write the equipment off for tax.

  5. 5
    [transitive] British to total a vehicle in an accident
See also main entry: write
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play