Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • transitive 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A distinct unit of language which is approved by some authority.
  • n. A finite string which is not a command or operator.
  • n. 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. To say or write (something) using particular words.
  • interj. truth, to tell or speak the truth; the shortened form of the 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. An abbreviated form of word up; a statement of the acknowledgment of fact with a hint of nonchalant approval.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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.
  • intransitive v. To use words, as in discussion; to argue; to dispute.
  • transitive v. To express in words; to phrase.
  • transitive v. To ply with words; also, to cause to be by the use of a word or words.
  • transitive v. To flatter with words; to cajole.

from The 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.
  • 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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)

Examples

Comments

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  • "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."
    --Cent. Dict.

    December 2, 2012

  • In typing, a word is a unit of length signified by five characters/spaces.

    ~via NPR's Says You

    December 12, 2010

  • My sister was asked by her English teacher (who had also been my English teacher) back in the Nineties, "What is a word?".

    Although the exercise had been completed in class that day, I sent along my definition (this has been revised slightly over the years): A word is the concatenation of phonetic vocalizations which is only rendered comprehensible after application of the pronunciation and syntactic norms of the language of intended usage. The teacher's response was, "That's typical of him!"

    That definition's probably wrong, but you never know...

    June 20, 2010

  • will, messenger

    July 24, 2009

  • It is.

    June 10, 2009

  • bouncebackability is a bippety-boppety way of describing resilience is it not?

    June 9, 2009

  • Does that include bodgy spelling?

    May 12, 2009

  • bouncebackabilty is a word meaning being able to recover from setbacks and/or obstacles.

    May 12, 2009

  • Testing

    March 26, 2009

  • As a verb it has a highly unusual property: an adjunct of manner is obligatory (which therefore makes it a complement of manner). You can't just word a letter: you have to word it, for example, carefully or with care.

    October 29, 2008

  • 'Something you must keep after giving it to another.' - The Foolish Dictionary

    February 27, 2008

  • I love word (<== note the recursion indicated) because it is a one-word sentence.

    September 24, 2007

  • I found word by accidentally searching on a null string :) Sometimes the javascript in that search box eats my characters when I mouse fumble and click back in the box twice.

    April 8, 2007

  • Some of the interconnected bounty of words is that a man can be much pleased over his own descriptions of Rome without ever actually going there; and then another, hearing of this, can then enjoy his own verbal condemnation of same.

    (Footnote: The mother of all win/win situations was words.)

    --Jan Cox

    April 6, 2007

  • One-word sentences? Eliminate.

    January 25, 2007

  • Listing "word" connected me to listing recursion. Funnily enough, Wordie actually broke on "word" (it's fixed now).

    December 7, 2006