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1. In accounting, to consider something a loss. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "write" and "off." We've been keeping these outstanding payments on the books, but we need to write them off as a loss.
2. In accounting, to record an asset as having no value. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "write" and "off." That equipment can no longer be used, so we are writing it off.
3. To dismiss as insufficient, worthless, or a failure. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "write" and "off." Don't write off Joe so fast. He's smarter than you think. I could tell that they wrote me off as soon as I walked on the court, but that just motivated me to play harder.
4. To disregard something due to perceiving it as unimportant or not warranting special attention. At the time, I wrote off his behavior as just a product of stress from work. Obviously now I can see it was more than that. Most people wrote off the comment as a simple gaffe, but I think it had a deeper significance.
5. To send a written message, often a request. When I was a kid, I used to write off to my favorite athletes asking them for autographs. Mom is not happy with the bill so she's writing off a letter to the company.
6. noun In accounting, something considered a loss. All of these write-offs will significantly change our valuation.
7. noun In accounting, the act of recording an asset as having no value. In this usage, the term is usually hyphenated. The car was totaled, so it ended up being a write-off.
write someone or something off(as a something)
1. . to give up on turning someone or something into something. I had to write Jill off as a future executive. The company wrote off the electric automobile as a dependable means of transportation. He would never work out. We wrote him off.
2. . to give up on someone or something as a dead loss, waste of time, hopeless case, etc. Don't write me off as a has-been. We almost wrote off the investment as a dead loss.
3. . to take a charge against one's taxes. Can I write this off as a deduction, or is it a dead loss? Can I write off this expense as a tax deduction?
write someone or something off
to drop someone or something from consideration. The manager wrote Tom off for a promotion. I wrote off that piece of swampy land as worthless. It can't be used for anything.
write something off (on one's taxes)
to deduct something from one's income taxes. Can I write this off on my income taxes? I'll write off this trip on my taxes. Oh, yes! Write it off!
write something off
to absorb a debt or a loss in accounting. The bill couldn't be collected, so we had to write it off. The bill was too large, and we couldn't write off the amount. We decided to sue.
write off (to someone) (for something)
to send a written request for something away to someone. I wrote off to my parents for some money, but I think they are ignoring me. I wrote off for money. I need money so I wrote off to my parents.
1. Reduce an asset's book value to zero because it is worthless, as in The truck was wrecked completely, so we can write it off. [Late 1600s]
2. Cancel from an account as a loss, as in Since they'll never be able to pay back what they owe, let's just write off that debt. [Late 1800s] Also see charge off, def. 2.
3. Regard as a failure or worthless, as in There was nothing to do but write off the first day of our trip because of the bad weather , or She resented their tendency to write her off as a mere housewife. [Late 1800s]
4. Amortize, as in We can write off the new computer network in two years or less. Also see charge off, def. 2.
1. To cancel something from accounts as a loss: The bank has written off the account balance as an unrecoverable debt. After efforts to collect the payment failed, we decided to write it off. We wrote the trip off as a business expense.
2. To consider something a loss or failure: We wrote off the first day of our vacation because it rained all day. The doctors wrote him off when a treatment couldn't be found for his illness.
3. To deem someone or something inconsequential and disregard them: I wouldn't write off the option of going to nursing school. Critics wrote the singer off as a novelty act.
4. To send a written request: I wrote off to the university for an application.