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2017 Word of the Year

code word

noun
1.
2.
a euphemistic or politically acceptable catchword or phrase used instead of a blunter or less acceptable term: The official report said the diplomats had a “frank and serious discussion”—code words for “angry argument.”.
Origin of code word
1880-1885
First recorded in 1880-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for code word
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He whistled the code word and the door opened automatically.

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • We will give you the code word, and we ask nothing in return but that you listen for sixty seconds.

    Meeting of the Board Alan Edward Nourse
  • I think I'm on the trail, but the message is impossible to decipher unless we get the code word.

    On Secret Service William Nelson Taft
  • The address was a code word, care of the Rand Club, and the words were in Clem's writing.

    Poppy Cynthia Stockley
  • The same day we received the code word which set in motion the machinery of pursuit.

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Nearby words for code word

Word Value for code

7
8
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