a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning. Words are composed of one or more morphemes and are either the smallest units susceptible of independent use or consist of two or three such units combined under certain linking conditions, as with the loss of primary accent that distinguishes the one-word blackbird (primary stress on “black”, and secondary stress on “bird”) from black bird (primary stress on both words). Words are usually separated by spaces in writing, and are distinguished phonologically, as by accent, in many languages.
speech or talk: Can you express your feelings in words?Words mean little when action is called for.
the text or lyrics of a song as distinguished from the music.
contentious or angry speech; a quarrel: We had words and she walked out on me.
a short talk or conversation: Marston, I'd like a word with you.
an expression or utterance: Before you do anything rash, let me give you a word of warning.
warrant, assurance, or promise: I give you my word I'll be there.
news; tidings; information: We received word of his death.
a verbal signal, as a password, watchword, or countersign.
an authoritative utterance, or command: His word was law.
Also called machine word. Computers. a string of bits, characters, or bytes treated as a single entity by a computer, particularly for numeric purposes.
the Word, Christianity.
Also called the Word of God, God's Word . the Scriptures; the Bible.
the Logos, identified with Christ.
the message of the gospel of Christ.
a proverb or motto.
to express in words, or to select words to express; phrase: The way they’ve worded these instructions is confusing.
Slang. what you have just said is true: “Raising a kid is the hardest thing you’ll ever do.” “Word.”
Idioms about word
at a word, in immediate response to an order or request; in an instant: When I was ill, they came at a word and took the situation in hand.
be as good as one's word, to hold to one's promises.
eat one's words, to retract one's statement, especially with humility: They predicted he'd fail, but he made them eat their words.
have a word, to talk briefly: Tell your aunt that I would like to have a word with her.
have no words for, to be unable to describe: She had no words for the sights she had witnessed.
in a word, in summary; in short: In a word, there was no comparison.: Also in one word.
in so many words, clearly or bluntly and without hedging; explicitly: She told them in so many words to get out.
keep one's word, to fulfill one's promise: I said I'd meet the deadline, and I kept my word.
man of his word / woman of her word, a person who can be trusted to keep a promise; a reliable person.
(upon) my word! (used as an exclamation of surprise or astonishment.)
of few words, not talkative; laconic or taciturn: a woman of few words but of profound thoughts.
of many words, talkative; loquacious; wordy: a person of many words but of little wit.
put in a good word for, to speak favorably of; commend: He put in a good word for her with the boss.: Also put in a word for.
take someone at their word, to take someone's statement to be literal and true.
take the words (right) out of one's mouth, to say exactly what one was about to say: “It’s a long way, so we should leave early.” “You took the words right out of my mouth!”
weigh one's words, to choose one's words carefully in speaking or writing: He paused to weigh his words before speaking.
- in·ter·word, adjective
- out·word, verb (used with object)
- well-word·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use word in a sentence
In other words, the large-scale burning this summer shows that these campaigns have yet to effectively prevent deforestation or the subsequent uncontrolled wildfires in Brazil.What wildfires in Brazil, Siberia, and the US West have in common | Lili Pike | September 17, 2020 | Vox
In this example, I went with the word “shoes” as this is a product listing for shoes.
That may feel like a strange word to describe a perennial 50-game winner — one that’s been so good, and so close — with a generational scoring talent.Everything Should Be On The Table For The Houston Rockets. Even James Harden’s Future. | Chris Herring (firstname.lastname@example.org) | September 14, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
Think of good synonyms or words connected to the brand, without compromising your Google ranking.Partial match domains in 2020: How to optimize and use effectively | Tudor Lodge Consultants | September 14, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
If you mouse over the word, you’ll see original English word.Toucan raises $3M to teach you new languages as you browse the web | Anthony Ha | September 11, 2020 | TechCrunch
This is acting in every sense of the word—bringing an unevolved animal to life and making it utterly believable.Oscars 2015: The Daily Beast’s Picks, From Scarlett Johansson to ‘Boyhood’ | Marlow Stern | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
She vowed to repay the money—no official word, however, on whether she ever did that.
But news of the classes is spread mainly by word of mouth, and participants bring along their friends and families.Iran’s Becoming a Footloose Nation as Dance Lessons Spread | IranWire | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Still other people have moved away from the word “diet” altogether.
Back in Iran, he once got word that the Iranians were going to raid a village where his men were stationed.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan | Umar Farooq | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Not a word now,” cried Longcluse harshly, extending his hand quickly towards him; “I may do that which can't be undone.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Every word that now fell from the agitated Empress was balm to the affrighted nerves of her daughter.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
When we were mounted Mac leaned over and muttered an admonitory word for Piegan's ear alone.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
Now for the tempering of the Gudgeons, I leave it to the judgment of the Workman; but a word or two of the polishing of it.Tintinnalogia, or, the Art of Ringing | Richard Duckworth and Fabian Stedman
Huxley quotes with satirical gusto Dr. Wace's declaration as to the word "Infidel."God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
British Dictionary definitions for word (1 of 3)
one of the units of speech or writing that native speakers of a language usually regard as the smallest isolable meaningful element of the language, although linguists would analyse these further into morphemes: Related adjective: lexical, verbal
an instance of vocal intercourse; chat, talk, or discussion: to have a word with someone
an utterance or expression, esp a brief one: a word of greeting
news or information: he sent word that he would be late
a verbal signal for action; command: when I give the word, fire!
an undertaking or promise: I give you my word; he kept his word
an autocratic decree or utterance; order: his word must be obeyed
a watchword or slogan, as of a political party: the word now is ``freedom''
computing a set of bits used to store, transmit, or operate upon an item of information in a computer, such as a program instruction
as good as one's word doing what one has undertaken or promised to do
at a word at once
by word of mouth orally rather than by written means
in a word briefly or in short
an exclamation of surprise, annoyance, etc
Australian an exclamation of agreement
of one's word given to or noted for keeping one's promises: I am a man of my word
put in a word for or put in a good word for to make favourable mention of (someone); recommend
take someone at his word or take someone at her word to assume that someone means, or will do, what he or she says: when he told her to go, she took him at his word and left
take someone's word for it to accept or believe what someone says
the last word
the closing remark of a conversation or argument, esp a remark that supposedly settles an issue
the latest or most fashionable design, make, or model: the last word in bikinis
the finest example (of some quality, condition, etc): the last word in luxury
the word the proper or most fitting expression: cold is not the word for it, it's freezing!
upon my word!
archaic on my honour
an exclamation of surprise, annoyance, etc
word for word
(of a report, transcription, etc) using exactly the same words as those employed in the situation being reported; verbatim
translated by substituting each word in the new text for each corresponding word in the original rather than by general sense
word of honour a promise; oath
(modifier) of, relating to, or consisting of words: a word list
(tr) to state in words, usually specially selected ones; phrase
(tr often foll by up) Australian informal to inform or advise (a person)
- See also words
British Dictionary definitions for Word (2 of 3)
Christianity the 2nd person of the Trinity
Scripture, the Bible, or the Gospels as embodying or representing divine revelation: Often called: the Word of God
British Dictionary definitions for -word (3 of 3)
(preceded by the and an initial letter) a euphemistic way of referring to a word by its first letter because it is considered to be in some way unmentionable by the user: the C-word, meaning cancer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with word
In addition to the idioms beginning with word
- word for word
- word of honor
- word of mouth, by
- words fail me
- words of one syllable, in
- words stick in one's throat
- words to that effect
- word to the wise, a
- actions speak louder than words
- at a loss (for words)
- at a word
- break one's word
- eat one's words
- famous last words
- fighting words
- four-letter word
- from the word go
- get a word in edgewise
- give the word
- go back on (one's word)
- good as one's word
- hang on someone's words
- have a word with
- have words with
- in brief (a word)
- in other words
- in so many words
- keep one's word
- last word
- leave word
- man of his word
- mark my words
- mince matters (words)
- mum's the word
- not breathe a word
- not open one's mouth (utter a word)
- of few words
- picture is worth a thousand words
- play on words
- put in a good word
- put into words
- put words in someone's mouth
- swallow one's words
- take someone at his or her word
- take the words out of someone's mouth
- true to (one's word)
- weasel word
- weigh one's words
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.