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Word definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

WORD, n. [G., L., to speak. A word is that which is uttered or thrown out.]
1. 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. Thus a in English is a word; but few words consist of one letter only. Most words consist of tow or more letters, as go, do, shall, called monosyllables, or of two or more syllables, as honor, goodness, amiable.
2. The letter or letters, written or printed, which represent a sound or combination of sounds.
3. A short discourse.
Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?
4. Talk; discourse.
Why should calamity be full of words?
Be thy words severe.
5. Dispute; verbal contention; as, some words grew between us.
6. Language; living speech; oral expression. The message was delivered by word of mouth.
7. Promise. He gave me his word he would pay me.
Obey they parents; keep thy word justly.
8. Signal; order; command.
Give the word through.
9. Account; tidings; message. Bring me word what is the issue of the contest.
10. Declaration; purpose expressed.
I know you brave, and take you at your word.
11. Declaration; affirmation.
I desire not the reader should take my word.
12. The Scripture; divine revelation, or any part of it. This is called the word of God.
13. Christ. John 1.
14. A motto; a short sentence; a proverb.
A good word, commendation; favorable account.
And gave the harmless fellow a good word.
In word, in declaration only.
Let us not love in word only, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3.
WORD, v.i. To dispute. [Little used.]
WORD, v.t. To express in words. Take care to word ideas with propriety.
The apology of the king is the same, but worded with greater deference to that great prince.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a unit of language that native speakers can identify; "words are the blocks from which sentences are made"; "he hardly said ten words all morning"
2: a brief statement; "he didn't say a word about it"
3: information about recent and important events; "they awaited news of the outcome" [syn: news, intelligence, tidings, word]
4: a verbal command for action; "when I give the word, charge!"
5: an exchange of views on some topic; "we had a good discussion"; "we had a word or two about it" [syn: discussion, give-and-take, word]
6: a promise; "he gave his word" [syn: parole, word, word of honor]
7: a word is a string of bits stored in computer memory; "large computers use words up to 64 bits long"
8: the divine word of God; the second person in the Trinity (incarnate in Jesus) [syn: Son, Word, Logos]
9: a secret word or phrase known only to a restricted group; "he forgot the password" [syn: password, watchword, word, parole, countersign]
10: the sacred writings of the Christian religions; "he went to carry the Word to the heathen" [syn: Bible, Christian Bible, Book, Good Book, Holy Scripture, Holy Writ, Scripture, Word of God, Word] v
1: put into words or an expression; "He formulated his concerns to the board of trustees" [syn: give voice, formulate, word, phrase, articulate]

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wort word, Latin verbum, Greek eirein to say, speak, Hittite weriya- to call, name Date: before 12th century 1. a. something that is said b. plural (1) talk, discourse <putting one's feelings into words> (2) the text of a vocal musical composition c. a brief remark or conversation <would like to have a word with you> 2. a. (1) a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use (2) the entire set of linguistic forms produced by combining a single base with various inflectional elements without change in the part of speech elements b. (1) a written or printed character or combination of characters representing a spoken word <the number of words to a line> — sometimes used with the first letter of a real or pretended taboo word prefixed as an often humorous euphemism <the first man to utter the f word on British TV — Time> <we were not afraid to use the d word and talk about death — Erma Bombeck> (2) any segment of written or printed discourse ordinarily appearing between spaces or between a space and a punctuation mark c. a number of bytes processed as a unit and conveying a quantum of information in communication and computer work 3. order, command <don't move till I give the word> 4. often capitalized a. Logos b. gospel 1a c. the expressed or manifested mind and will of God 5. a. news, information <sent word that he would be late> b. rumor 6. the act of speaking or of making verbal communication 7. saying, proverb 8. promise, declaration <kept her word> 9. a quarrelsome utterance or conversation — usually used in plural <they had words and parted> 10. a verbal signal ; password 11. slang — used interjectionally to express agreement II. verb Date: 13th century intransitive verb archaic speak transitive verb to express in words ; phrase <a carefully worded reply>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. 1 a sound or combination of sounds forming a meaningful element of speech, usu. shown with a space on either side of it when written or printed, used as part (or occas. as the whole) of a sentence. 2 speech, esp. as distinct from action (bold in word only). 3 one's promise or assurance (gave us their word). 4 (in sing. or pl.) a thing said, a remark or conversation. 5 (in pl.) the text of a song or an actor's part. 6 (in pl.) angry talk (they had words). 7 news, intelligence; a message. 8 a command, password, or motto (gave the word to begin). 9 a basic unit of the expression of data in a computer. --v.tr. put into words; select words to express (how shall we word that?). Phrases and idioms: at a word as soon as requested. be as good as (or better than) one's word fulfil (or exceed) what one has promised. break one's word fail to do what one has promised. have no words for be unable to express. have a word (often foll. by with) speak briefly (to). in other words expressing the same thing differently. in so many words explicitly or bluntly. in a (or one) word briefly. keep one's word do what one has promised. my (or upon my) word an exclamation of surprise or consternation. not the word for it not an adequate or appropriate description. of few words taciturn. of one's word reliable in keeping promises (a woman of her word). on (or upon) my word a form of asseveration. put into words express in speech or writing. take a person at his or her word interpret a person's words literally or exactly. take a person's word for it believe a person's statement without investigation etc. too ... for words too ... to be adequately described (was too funny for words). waste words talk in vain. the Word (or Word of God) the Bible. word-blind incapable of identifying written or printed words owing to a brain defect. word-blindness this condition. word-deaf incapable of identifying spoken words owing to a brain defect. word-deafness this condition. word for word in exactly the same or (of translation) corresponding words. word-game a game involving the making or selection etc. of words. word of honour an assurance given upon one's honour. word of mouth speech (only). word order the sequence of words in a sentence, esp. affecting meaning etc. word-painting a vivid description in writing. word-perfect knowing one's part etc. by heart. word-picture a piece of word-painting. word processor a purpose-built computer system for electronically storing text entered from a keyboard, incorporating corrections, and providing a printout. words fail me an expression of disbelief, dismay, etc. word-square a set of words of equal length written one under another to read the same down as across (e.g. too old ode). a word to the wise = VERB. SAP. Derivatives: wordage n. wordless adj. wordlessly adv. wordlessness n. Etymology: OE f. Gmc

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Word Word, n. [AS. word; akin to OFries. & OS. word, D. woord, G. wort, Icel. or[eth], Sw. & Dan. ord, Goth. wa['u]rd, OPruss. wirds, Lith. vardas a name, L. verbum a word; or perhaps to Gr. "rh`twr an orator. Cf. Verb.] 1. 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. ``A glutton of words.'' --Piers Plowman. You cram these words into mine ears, against The stomach of my sense. --Shak. Amongst men who confound their ideas with words, there must be endless disputes. --Locke. 2. Hence, the written or printed character, or combination of characters, expressing such a term; as, the words on a page. 3. pl. Talk; discourse; speech; language. Why should calamity be full of words? --Shak. Be thy words severe; Sharp as he merits, but the sword forbear. --Dryden. 4. Account; tidings; message; communication; information; -- used only in the singular. I pray you . . . bring me word thither How the world goes. --Shak. 5. Signal; order; command; direction. Give the word through. --Shak. 6. Language considered as implying the faith or authority of the person who utters it; statement; affirmation; declaration; promise. Obey thy parents; keep thy word justly. --Shak. I know you brave, and take you at your word. --Dryden. I desire not the reader should take my word. --Dryden. 7. pl. Verbal contention; dispute. Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me. --Shak. 8. A brief remark or observation; an expression; a phrase, clause, or short sentence. All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. --Gal. v. 14. She said; but at the happy word ``he lives,'' My father stooped, re-fathered, o'er my wound. --Tennyson. There is only one other point on which I offer a word of remark. --Dickens. By word of mouth, orally; by actual speaking. --Boyle. Compound word. See under Compound, a. Good word, commendation; favorable account. ``And gave the harmless fellow a good word.'' --Pope. In a word, briefly; to sum up. In word, in declaration; in profession. ``Let us not love in word, . . . but in deed and in truth.'' --1 John iii. 8. Nuns of the Word Incarnate (R. C. Ch.), an order of nuns founded in France in 1625, and approved in 1638. The order, which also exists in the United States, was instituted for the purpose of doing honor to the ``Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.'' The word, or The Word. (Theol.) (a) The gospel message; esp., the Scriptures, as a revelation of God. ``Bold to speak the word without fear.'' --Phil. i. 14. (b) The second person in the Trinity before his manifestation in time by the incarnation; among those who reject a Trinity of persons, some one or all of the divine attributes personified. --John i. 1. To eat one's words, to retract what has been said. To have the words for, to speak for; to act as spokesman. [Obs.] ``Our host hadde the wordes for us all.'' --Chaucer. Word blindness (Physiol.), inability to understand printed or written words or symbols, although the person affected may be able to see quite well, speak fluently, and write correctly. --Landois & Stirling. Word deafness (Physiol.), inability to understand spoken words, though the person affected may hear them and other sounds, and hence is not deaf. Word dumbness (Physiol.), inability to express ideas in verbal language, though the power of speech is unimpaired. Word for word, in the exact words; verbatim; literally; exactly; as, to repeat anything word for word. Word painting, the act of describing an object fully and vividly by words only, so as to present it clearly to the mind, as if in a picture. Word picture, an accurate and vivid description, which presents an object clearly to the mind, as if in a picture. Word square, a series of words so arranged that they can be read vertically and horizontally with like results. Note: H E A R T E M B E R A B U S E R E S I N T R E N T (A word square) Syn: See Term.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Word Word, v. i. To use words, as in discussion; to argue; to dispute. [R.]

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Word Word, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Worded; p. pr. & vb. n. Wording.] 1. To express in words; to phrase. The apology for the king is the same, but worded with greater deference to that great prince. --Addison. 2. To ply with words; also, to cause to be by the use of a word or words. [Obs.] --Howell. 3. To flatter with words; to cajole. [Obs.] --Shak. To word it, to bandy words; to dispute. [Obs.] ``To word it with a shrew.'' --L'Estrange.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(words, wording, worded) Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English. 1. A word is a single unit of language that can be represented in writing or speech. In English, a word has a space on either side of it when it is written. The words stood out clearly on the page... The word 'ginseng' comes from the Chinese word 'Shen-seng'. ...swear words... N-COUNT 2. Someone's words are what they say or write. I was devastated when her words came true... The words of the young woman doctor echoed in his ears... N-PLURAL: oft with poss 3. The words of a song consist of the text that is sung, in contrast to the music that is played. Can you hear the words on the album? = lyrics N-PLURAL: usu the N 4. If you have a word with someone, you have a short conversation with them. (SPOKEN) I think it's time you had a word with him... James, could I have a quiet word?... N-SING: a N 5. If you offer someone a word of something such as warning, advice, or praise, you warn, advise, or praise them. A word of warning. Don't stick too precisely to what it says in the book... N-COUNT: N of n 6. If you say that someone does not hear, understand, or say a word, you are emphasizing that they hear, understand, or say nothing at all. I can't understand a word she says... Not a word was spoken. N-SING: a N, with brd-neg [emphasis] 7. If there is word of something, people receive news or information about it. There is no word from the authorities on the reported attack... Word has been spreading fast of the incidents on the streets... N-UNCOUNT: also the N 8. If you give your word, you make a sincere promise to someone. ...an adult who gave his word the boy would be supervised... He simply cannot be trusted to keep his word. N-SING: poss N 9. If someone gives the word to do something, they give an order to do it. I want nothing said about this until I give the word. N-SING: the N 10. To word something in a particular way means to choose or use particular words to express it. If I had written the letter, I might have worded it differently. VERB: V n adv/prep-worded ...a strongly-worded statement. ...a carefully-worded speech. COMB in ADJ 11. see also wording, code word, four-letter word, play on words, printed word, spoken word, written word 12. If you say that people consider something to be a dirty word, you mean that they disapprove of it. So many people think feminism is a dirty word. PHRASE: usu v-link PHR 13. If you do something from the word go, you do it from the very beginning of a period of time or situation. It's essential you make the right decisions from the word go. PHRASE: PHR with cl 14. You can use in their words or in their own words to indicate that you are reporting what someone said using the exact words that they used. Even the Assistant Secretary of State had to admit that previous policy did not, in his words, produce results. PHRASE: PHR with cl 15. You use in a word to indicate that you are giving a summary of what you have just been saying, or are giving a reply, in as brief a way as possible. 'Shouldn't he be given the leading role?'—'In a word–No.' = in short PHRASE: PHR with cl 16. If someone has the last word or the final word in a discussion, argument, or disagreement, they are the one who wins it or who makes the final decision. She does like to have the last word in any discussion... The final word will still come from the Secretary of State. PHRASE 17. If you say that something is the last word in luxury, comfort, or some other quality, you are emphasizing that it has a great deal of this quality. The spa is the last word in luxury and efficiency. PHRASE: PHR n, usu v-link PHR [emphasis] 18. If you say that someone has said something, but not in so many words, you mean that they said it or expressed it, but in a very indirect way. 'And has she agreed to go with you?'—'Not in so many words. But I read her thoughts'. PHRASE: usu with brd-neg, usu PHR after v, PHR with cl 19. If news or information passes by word of mouth, people tell it to each other rather than it being printed in written form. The story has been passed down by word of mouth. PHRASE: oft by/through PHR 20. You say in other words in order to introduce a different, and usually simpler, explanation or interpretation of something that has just been said. The mobile library services have been reorganised–in other words, they visit fewer places. PHRASE: PHR with cl 21. If you say something in your own words, you express it in your own way, without copying or repeating someone else's description. Now tell us in your own words about the events of Saturday. PHRASE: PHR after v, PHR with cl 22. If you say to someone 'take my word for it', you mean that they should believe you because you are telling the truth. You'll buy nothing but trouble if you buy that house, take my word for it. PHRASE: V inflects 23. If you repeat something word for word, you repeat it exactly as it was originally said or written. I don't try to memorize speeches word for word. = verbatim PHRASE: PHR after v 24. not get a word in edgeways: see edgeways not mince your words: see mince the operative word: see operative war of words: see war

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

wurd: The commonest term in the Old Testament for "word" is dabhar (also "matter" "thing"); in the New Testament logos ("reason," "discourse," "speech"); but also frequently rhema. Rhema is a "word" in itself considered; logos is a spoken word, with reference generally to that which is in the speaker's mind. Some of the chief applications of the terms may thus be exhibited:

(1) We have the word of Yahweh (or God; see below)

(a) as the revelation to the patriarch, prophet, or inspired person (Ge 15:1; Ex 20:1; Nu 22:38, etc.);

(b) as spoken forth by the prophet (Ex 4:30; 34:1; 2Ki 7:1; Isa 1:10, etc.).

(2) The word is often a commandment, sometimes equivalent to "the Law" (Ex 32:28; Nu 20:24; De 6:6; Ps 105:8; 119:11,17; Isa 66:2, etc.).

(3) As a promise and ground of hope (Ps 119:25,28,38, etc.; 130:5, etc.).

(4) As creative, upholding, and preserving (Ps 33:6; compare Ge 1:3; Ps 147:15,18; Heb 1:3; 11:3; 2Pe 3:5,7).

(5) As personified (in Apocrypha, The Wisdom of Solomon 18:15; Ecclesiasticus 1:5, the Revised Version margin "omitted by the best authorities").

(6) As personal (Joh 1:1). Logos in Philo and Greek-Jewish philosophy meant both reason or thought and its utterance, "the whole contents of the divine world of thought resting in the Nous of God, synonymous with the inner life of God Himself and corresponding to the logos endiathetos of the human soul; on the other hand, it is the externalizing of this as revelation corresponding to the logos prophorikos in which man's thought finds expression (Schultz). Compare also the references to Creation by "the word of God" and its personifications; see LOGOS; incarnated in Jesus Christ (Joh 1:14; 1 Joh 1:1,2; Re 19:13, "His name is called, The Word of God," Ho Logos tou Theou). See PERSON OF CHRIST.

(7) Cannot be broken, endureth forever (2Ki 10:10; Ps 119:89; Isa 40:8, etc.).

(8) A designation of the gospel of Christ: sometimes simply "the word"; with Jesus "the word of the Kingdom" (Mt 13:19; Mr 2:2; Ac 4:4,29,31, etc.). In John's Gospel Jesus frequently speaks of His "word" and "works" as containing the divine revelation and requirements made through Him, which men are asked to believe in, cherish and obey (Joh 5:24; 6:63,68, etc.); "the words of God" (Joh 3:34; 8:47; 14:10; 17:8,14, etc.); His "word" (logos and rhema) is to be distinguished from lalia, speech (compare Mt 26:73; Mr 14:70), translated "saying," Joh 4:42 (4:41, "Many more believed because of his own word" (logos); 4:42, "not because of thy saying" (lalia), the Revised Version (British and American) "speaking"); in the only other occurrence of lalia in this Gospel (Joh 8:43) Jesus uses it to distinguish the outward expression from the inner meaning, "Why do ye not understand my speech?" (lalia), "Even because ye cannot hear my word" (logos).

(9) "Words" are distinguished from "power" (1Co 4:20; 1Th 1:5); are contrasted with "deed" (Mal 2:17; 1Co 4:20; 1 Joh 3:18). (10) Paul refers to "unspeakable words" (arrheta rhemata) which he heard in Paradise (2Co 12:4), and to "words (logoi) .... which the Spirit teacheth" (1Co 2:13).

For "word" the Revised Version (British and American) has "commandment" (Nu 4:45, etc.); for "words," "things" (Joh 7:9; 8:30; 9:22,40; 17:1), "sayings" (Joh 10:21; 12:47,48); for "enticing words," "persuasiveness of speech" (Col 2:4); conversely, "word" for "commandment" (Nu 24:13; 27:14; Jos 8:8, etc.), with numerous other changes.

W. L. Walker

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. 1. Vocable, expression. See term. 2. Report, tidings, account, advice, intelligence, information. 3. Statement, affirmation, declaration, assertion, averment. 4. Promise, pledge, assurance, engagement. 5. Order, command, signal. 6. Scripture, Word of God. 7. [With The prefixed.] Messiah. See christ.

Foolish Dictionary

Something you must keep after giving it to another.

Moby Thesaurus

Bible oath, Parthian shot, account, acquaintance, adage, address, admission, advice, affidavit, affirmance, affirmation, allegation, altercation, ana, analects, announcement, annunciation, answer, aphorism, apostrophe, apothegm, articulate, assertion, asseveration, assurance, attest, attestation, averment, avouch, avouchment, avow, avowal, axiom, beef, behest, bickering, bidding, blue book, breathe, briefing, broadcast journalism, bulletin, buzz, byword, catchword, charge, chorus, collected sayings, come out with, command, commandment, comment, commitment, communicate, communication, communique, compurgation, conceive, conclusion, convey, couch, couch in terms, countersign, crack, creed, cry, current saying, data, datum, declaration, deliver, deposition, dictate, dictation, dictum, direct order, directive, directory, disclose, disclosure, dispatch, dispute, distich, embassy, embody in words, emit, engagement, enlightenment, enunciate, enunciation, epigram, evidence, exclamation, express, expression, extrajudicial oath, facts, factual information, faith, familiarization, fight, fling off, formularize, formulate, frame, gen, general information, give, give expression, give expression to, give out with, give tongue, give utterance, give voice, give words to, glosseme, gnome, golden saying, gossip, greeting, guarantee, guidebook, handout, hard information, hassle, hearsay, hest, icon, idiom, impart, imperative, incidental information, info, information, injunction, instruction, instrument in proof, intelligence, interjection, ipse dixit, ironclad oath, journalism, judicial oath, knowledge, legal evidence, let out, letter, lexeme, lexical form, light, linguistic act, lip, locution, loyalty oath, mandate, manifesto, maxim, mention, message, moral, morpheme, mot, motto, news, news agency, news medium, news service, newsiness, newsletter, newsmagazine, newspaper, newsworthiness, note, notice, notification, oath, oath of allegiance, oath of office, observation, offer, official oath, oracle, order, out with, paragraph, parol, parole, phonate, phonation, phrase, pithy saying, pleasure, pledge, plight, pneumatogram, position, position paper, positive declaration, pour forth, precept, predicate, predication, prescript, present, presentation, press association, proclamation, profession, promise, promotional material, pronounce, pronouncement, proof, proposition, protest, protestation, proverb, proverbial saying, proverbs, publication, publicity, put, put forth, put in words, question, radio, raise, reflection, release, remark, report, reportage, rhetorize, row, rumble, rumor, run-in, saw, say, say-so, saying, scuttlebutt, semasiological unit, sememe, sentence, sententious expression, sequence of phonemes, set forth, set out, set-to, sidelight, sign, signifiant, significant, sloka, solemn declaration, solemn oath, sound, speaking, special order, speech act, stance, stand, state, statement, stock saying, string, style, subjoinder, submit, sutra, sworn evidence, sworn statement, sworn testimony, symbol, talk, tattle, teaching, telegram, telegraph agency, television, tell, term, test oath, testimonial, testimonium, testimony, text, the dope, the fourth estate, the goods, the know, the press, the scoop, the spoken word, thought, throw off, tidings, token, tongue, transmission, troth, type, undertaking, utter, utterance, utterance string, verbalize, verse, vocable, vocalize, voice, vouch, vow, warrant, warranty, watchword, whisper, white book, white paper, will, wire service, wisdom, wisdom literature, wise saying, witness, witticism, word of command, word of honor, word of mouth, words of wisdom

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