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To write him off

Posted by David FG on September 01, 2004

In Reply to: To write him off posted by Chip on September 01, 2004

: Is the word usage below commonly heard?

: People *write him off* healthwise.
: =to dismiss?

: thank you

'Write off' comes from the world of insurance, in which if a car is so badly damaged that it is impractical, economically, to repair it, it is 'written off' and the insurance company will pay for a replacement car rather than pay for repairs.

So to write something off is to regard it as worthless, or to discard it, and I suppose, at a push, to dismiss it (though that is stretching the analogy a bit far, I think.)