From Middle English writ, iwrit, ȝewrit, from Old English writ (“letter, book, treatise; scripture, writing; writ, charter, document, deed”) and ġewrit (“writing, something written, written language; written character, bookstave; inscription; orthography; written statement, passage from a book; official or formal document, document; law, jurisprudence; regulation; list, catalog; letter; text of an agreement; writ, charter, deed; literary writing, book, treatise; books dealing with a subject under notice; a book of the Bible; scripture, canonical book, the Scriptures; stylus”), from Proto-Germanic *writą (“fissure, writing”), from Proto-Indo-European *wrey-, *wrī- (“to scratch, carve, ingrave”). Cognate with Scots writ (“writ, writing, handwriting”), Icelandic rit (“writing, writ, literary work, publication”).
- Rhymes: -ɪt
writ (plural writs)
- (law) A written order, issued by a court, ordering someone to do (or stop doing) something.
- authority, power to enforce compliance
- that which is written; writing
- Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
- (Can we clean up(+) this sense?) (dated) Past participle of write (normally, “written”) and used in the phrase writ large. This form survives in the Scouse dialect (in fact, it is dominant), but is practically obsolete in all others.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
- Omar Khayyam (in translation)
- The moving finger writes, and having writ, not all your piety or wit can lure it back to cancel half a line […]
- Romanization of 𐍅𐍂𐌹𐍄