American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing or printing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes.
- n. Something said; an utterance, remark, or comment: May I say a word about that?
- n. Computer Science A set of bits constituting the smallest unit of addressable memory.
- n. Discourse or talk; speech: Actions speak louder than words.
- n. Music The text of a vocal composition; lyrics.
- n. An assurance or promise; sworn intention: She has kept her word.
- n. A command or direction; an order: gave the word to retreat.
- n. A verbal signal; a password or watchword.
- n. News: Any word on your promotion? See Synonyms at news.
- n. Rumor: Word has it they're divorcing.
- n. Hostile or angry remarks made back and forth.
- n. Used euphemistically in combination with the initial letter of a term that is considered offensive or taboo or that one does not want to utter: "Although economists here will not call it a recession yet, the dreaded 'R' word is beginning to pop up in the media” ( Francine S. Kiefer).
- n. See Logos.
- n. The Scriptures; the Bible.
- v. To express in words: worded the petition carefully.
- interj. Slang Used to express approval or an affirmative response to something. Sometimes used with up.
- idiom. at a word In immediate response.
- idiom. good word A favorable comment: She put in a good word for me.
- idiom. good word Favorable news.
- idiom. have no words for To be unable to describe or talk about.
- idiom. in a word In short; in summary: In a word, the situation is serious.
- idiom. in so many words In precisely those words; exactly: hinted at impending indictments but did not say it in so many words.
- idiom. in so many words Speaking candidly and straightforwardly: In so many words, the weather has been beastly.
- idiom. of few words Not conversational or loquacious; laconic: a person of few words.
- idiom. of (one's) word Displaying personal dependability: a woman of her word.
- idiom. take at (one's) word To be convinced of another's sincerity and act in accord with his or her statement: We took them at their word that the job would be done on time.
- idiom. upon my word Indeed; really.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A sound, or combination of sounds, used in any language as the sign of a conception, or of a conception together with its grammatical relations; the smallest bit of human language forming a grammatical part of speech; a vocable; a term. A word may be any part of speech, as verb, noun, particle, etc.; it may be radical, as love, or derivative, as lover, lovely, loveliness, or an inflected form, as loves, loved; it may be simple, or compound, as love-sick. Anything is a word that can be used as an individual member of a sentence, and that is not separable into parts usable independently and coördinatcly in making a sentence. A word is a spoken sign that has arrived at its value as used in any language by a series of historical changes, and that holds its value by virtue of usage, being exposed to such further changes, of form and of meaning, as usage may prescribe. The conception involved in a word may be of any grade, from the simplest, as one, to the most derived and complicated, as political, and the grammatical relations involved may also be of any degree, from
trueto untruthfulness, or from (Latin) ama to amabitur.
- n. The letter or letters or other characters, written or printed, which represent such a vocable: as, a word misprinted.
- n. Speech; talk; discourse; conversation: commonly in the plural.
- n. Saying; remark; expression: as, a word of comfort or sympathy; a word of reproach.
- n. A symbol of thought, as distinguished from thought itself; sound as opposed to sense.
- n. Intelligence; information; tidings; report: without an article, and used only as a singular: as, to send word of one's arrival.
- n. An expression of will or decision; an injunction; command; order.
- n. A password; a watchword; a war-cry; a signal, or term of recognition, even when consisting of several words.
- n. A brief or pithy remark or saying; a proverb; a motto.
- n. Affirmation; promise; obligation; good faith; a term or phrase implying or containing an assertion, declaration, assurance, or the like, which involves the faith or honor of the utterer of it: with a possessive: as, I pledge you my word; on my word, sir.
- n. Utterances or terms interchanged expressive of anger, contention, or reproach: in the plural, and often qualified by high, hot, hard, sharp, or the like.
- n. In theology:
- n. [capitalized] The Son of God; God as manifested to man: same as Logos.
- n. [cap. or lowercase] The Holy Scripture, or a part of Scripture: as, the Word of God, or God's Word.
- n. Hot, angry, or reproachful words. See def. 11, and the quotation there from Tennyson.
- n. =Syn.1. Phrase, etc. See term.
- To express in words; phrase.
- To ply with or overpower by words; talk.
- To flatter; cajole.
- To make or unmake by a word or command.
- To speak; talk; converse; discourse.
- n. An erroneous form of ord.
- n. A distinct unit of language which is approved by some authority.
- n. computer science A finite string which is not a command or operator.
- n. group theory A group element, expressed as a product of group elements.
- n. Different symbols, written or spoken, arranged together in a unique sequence that approximates a thought in a person's mind.
- v. transitive To say or write (something) using particular words.
- interj. slang, African American Vernacular truth, to tell or speak the truth; the shortened form of statement, "My word is my bond," an expression eventually shortened to "Word is bond," before it finally got cut to just "Word," which is its most commonly used form.
- interj. slang, emphatic, African American Vernacular An abbreviated form of word up; a statement of the acknowledgment of fact with a hint of nonchalant approval.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The spoken sign of a conception or an idea; an articulate or vocal sound, or a combination of articulate and vocal sounds, uttered by the human voice, and by custom expressing an idea or ideas; a single component part of human speech or language; a constituent part of a sentence; a term; a vocable.
- n. Hence, the written or printed character, or combination of characters, expressing such a term.
- n. Talk; discourse; speech; language.
- n. Account; tidings; message; communication; information; -- used only in the singular.
- n. Signal; order; command; direction.
- n. Language considered as implying the faith or authority of the person who utters it; statement; affirmation; declaration; promise.
- n. Verbal contention; dispute.
- n. A brief remark or observation; an expression; a phrase, clause, or short sentence.
- v. rare To use words, as in discussion; to argue; to dispute.
- v. To express in words; to phrase.
- v. obsolete To ply with words; also, to cause to be by the use of a word or words.
- v. obsolete To flatter with words; to cajole.
- n. the sacred writings of the Christian religions
- n. a unit of language that native speakers can identify
- v. put into words or an expression
- n. the divine word of God; the second person in the Trinity (incarnate in Jesus)
- n. a brief statement
- n. information about recent and important events
- n. a secret word or phrase known only to a restricted group
- n. a verbal command for action
- n. a promise
- n. a word is a string of bits stored in computer memory
- n. an exchange of views on some topic
- From Middle English word, from Old English word ("word, speech, sentence, statement, command, order, subject of talk, story, news, report, fame, promise, verb"), from Proto-Germanic *wurdan (“word”), from Proto-Indo-European *werdʰo- (“word”). Cognate with Scots word ("word"), West Frisian wurd ("word"), Dutch woord ("word"), German Wort ("word"), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish ord ("word"), Icelandic orð ("word"), Latin verbum ("word"), Lithuanian vardas ("name"), Albanian urtë ("sage, wise, silent"). Etymological twin of verb. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“There is an important and very common use of the word ˜word™ that lexicographers and the rest of us use frequently.”
“Use an underscore before and after a word to show it in italics. _word”
“Use an asterix before and after a word to make it bold. *word*”
“Do not make the last word of each line _emphatic_, unless it is really an _emphatic word_.”
“In practice, an adverb is often used to qualify a remote word, where the latter is _more emphatic than any nearer word_.”
“_Brackets_ include a word or words mentioned as a matter of discourse, as, _The little word_ [man] _makes a great noise_, &c.”
“In one of the most remarkable of his lyrics (like this poem, a song of spring), Tennyson has come very near, as near perhaps as it is possible to do in words, towards explaining the actual process through which poetry comes into existence: _The fairy fancies range, and lightly stirr'd, Ring little bells of change from word to word_.”
“At length Cameron stood up, and said to his men in a quiet tone, "Be ready, lads, for instant action; when I give the word ` Up, 'spring to your feet and cock your guns, but _don't fire a shot till you get the word_.”
“If this were the correct derivation, we should expect to find _sinecere_, for the _e_ would scarcely be dropped; just as we have the English word _sinecure_, which is the only compound of the preposition _sine_ I know; and is itself _not a Latin word_, but of a later coinage.”
“The true word of a Mason is, not the entire, perfect, absolute truth in regard to God; but the highest and noblest conception of Him that our minds are capable of forming; and this _word_ is Ineffable, because one man cannot communicate to another his own conception of Deity; since every man's conception of God must be proportioned to his mental cultivation, and intellectual powers, and moral excellence.”
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