(wûrd) KEY NOUN:
TRANSITIVE VERB: word·ed
- 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.
- Something said; an utterance, remark, or comment: May I say a word about that?
- Computer Science A set of bits constituting the smallest unit of addressable memory.
- words Discourse or talk; speech: Actions speak louder than words.
- words Music The text of a vocal composition; lyrics.
- An assurance or promise; sworn intention: She has kept her word.
- A command or direction; an order: gave the word to retreat.
- A verbal signal; a password or watchword.
- News: Any word on your promotion? See Synonyms at news.
- Rumor: Word has it they're divorcing.
- words Hostile or angry remarks made back and forth.
- 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).
- See Logos.
- The Scriptures; the Bible.
- To express in words: worded the petition carefully.
IDIOMS: at a word
- Slang Used to express approval or an affirmative response to something. Sometimes used with up.
- In immediate response.
have no words for
- A favorable comment: She put in a good word for me.
- Favorable news.
in a word
- To be unable to describe or talk about.
in so many words
- In short; in summary: In a word, the situation is serious.
of few words
- In precisely those words; exactly: hinted at impending indictments but did not say it in so many words.
- Speaking candidly and straightforwardly: In so many words, the weather has been beastly.
of (one's) word
- Not conversational or loquacious; laconic: a person of few words.
take at (one's) word
- Displaying personal dependability: a woman of her word.
upon my 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.
- Indeed; really.
Middle English, from Old English; see wer-5
in Indo-European roots