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have a word with

Speak with, discuss with, as in Jerry asked to have a word with you, or I must have a word with Bill about the repairs. This expression, from the late 1400s, was at one time used interchangeably with have words with, but it no longer is.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.