write off

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write off

1. In accounting, to consider something a loss. 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. 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. 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. A noun or pronoun can be used between "write" and "off." 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 the comment off 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, the act of considering something a loss, or the item itself. As a noun, the phrase is hyphenated. All of these write-offs will significantly change our valuation.
7. noun In accounting, the act of recording an asset as having no value, or the asset itself. As a noun, the phrase is hyphenated. The car was totaled, so it ended up being a write-off.
See also: off, write
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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?
See also: off, write

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.
See also: off, write

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!
See also: off, write

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.
See also: off, write

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.
See also: off, write
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

write off

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.
See also: off, write
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

write off

v.
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.
See also: off, write
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The authority then wrote off PS2,722,673, PS1,443,310 and PS1,754,344 in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively.
Banks and building societies wrote off pounds 2.27bn of debt that people had defaulted on during the three months to the end of December, up from pounds 1.83bn during the previous quarter, according to the Bank of England.
According to the Bank of England statistics, financial institutions wrote off around 6.2 billion pounds in loans during 1992 and around 5.6 billion pounds during 1993.
The Bank of America wrote off a total of $ 33.7 billion in 2009 and $ 16.2 billion in 2008.
In 2006-7 the council wrote off pounds 2.75m of unpaid tax - the eighth-worst figure in England.
He said: "In 2006-7 we wrote off pounds 345,407.07 - the second-lowest annual percentage since 1993-4.
Announcing results for fiscal 1997, when the 19 banks wrote off a total of 10 trillion yen in nonperforming loans, they said enough provisions for loan losses had been set aside.
In 2006/07 the council wrote off pounds 2.75m of unpaid tax - the eighth-worst figure in England.
Elsewhere in West Yorkshire, Leeds wrote off pounds 1.65m, Calderdale pounds 637,000, Bradford pounds 342,000 and Wakefield pounds 232,000.
Japan's major banks wrote off 4.07 trillion yen in bad loans over a 10-year period through the last business year ended March 31, according to a Financial Supervisory Agency (FSA) report presented Monday to a Diet panel on financial stabilization.
The banks wrote off only 660 billion yen in the last business year, about half the write-offs of the peak year, the report shows.