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1. 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.
a. Something said; an utterance, remark, or comment: May I say a word about that?
b. A command or direction; an order: gave the word to retreat.
c. An assurance or promise; sworn intention: She has kept her word.
d. A verbal signal; a password or watchword.
3. words
a. Discourse or talk; speech: Actions speak louder than words.
b. Music The text of a vocal composition; lyrics.
c. Hostile or angry remarks made back and forth.
a. News: Any word on your promotion?
b. Rumor: Word has it they're divorcing.
5. 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).
6. Word
a. See Logos.
b. The Scriptures; the Bible.
7. Computers A set of bits that is of a fixed size and is typically operated on by a computer's processor.
tr.v. word·ed, word·ing, words
To express in words: worded the petition carefully.
Slang Used to express approval or an affirmative response to something. Sometimes used with up.
at a word
In immediate response.
good word
1. A favorable comment: She put in a good word for me.
2. Favorable news.
have a word with
To have a brief conversation with (someone); speak to.
have no words for
To be unable to describe or talk about.
in a word
In short; in summary: In a word, the situation is serious.
in so many words
1. In precisely those words; exactly: hinted at impending indictments but did not say it in so many words.
2. Speaking candidly and straightforwardly: In so many words, the weather has been beastly.
of few words
Not conversational or loquacious; laconic: a person of few words.
of (one's) word
Displaying personal dependability: a woman of her word.
take at (someone's) 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.
take (someone's) word for it
To believe what someone says without investigating further.
upon my word
Indeed; really.

[Middle English, from Old English; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


pl n
1. (Theatre) the text of a part of an actor, etc
2. (Music, other) the text or lyrics of a song, as opposed to the music
3. angry speech (esp in the phrase have words with someone)
4. eat one's words to retract a statement
5. for words (preceded by: too and an adjective or adverb) indescribably; extremely: the play was too funny for words.
6. have no words for to be incapable of describing
7. in other words expressing the same idea but differently
8. in so many words explicitly or precisely
9. of few words not talkative
10. of many words talkative
11. put into words to express in speech or writing as well as thought
12. (Rhetoric) say a few words to give a brief speech
13. take the words out of someone's mouth to say exactly what someone else was about to say
14. words fail me I am too happy, sad, amazed, etc, to express my thoughts
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.words - the words that are spoken; "I listened to his words very closely"
speech communication, spoken communication, spoken language, voice communication, oral communication, speech, language - (language) communication by word of mouth; "his speech was garbled"; "he uttered harsh language"; "he recorded the spoken language of the streets"
2.words - the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number; "his compositions always started with the lyrics"; "he wrote both words and music"; "the song uses colloquial language"
text, textual matter - the words of something written; "there were more than a thousand words of text"; "they handed out the printed text of the mayor's speech"; "he wants to reconstruct the original text"
song, vocal - a short musical composition with words; "a successful musical must have at least three good songs"
love lyric - the lyric of a love song
3.words - language that is spoken or written; "he has a gift for words"; "she put her thoughts into words"
language, linguistic communication - a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols; "he taught foreign languages"; "the language introduced is standard throughout the text"; "the speed with which a program can be executed depends on the language in which it is written"
4.words - an angry disputewords - an angry dispute; "they had a quarrel"; "they had words"
difference of opinion, dispute, difference, conflict - a disagreement or argument about something important; "he had a dispute with his wife"; "there were irreconcilable differences"; "the familiar conflict between Republicans and Democrats"
affray, altercation, fracas - noisy quarrel
pettifoggery, spat, squabble, tiff, bicker, bickering, fuss - a quarrel about petty points
bust-up - a serious quarrel (especially one that ends a friendship)
5.words - words making up the dialogue of a playwords - words making up the dialogue of a play; "the actor forgot his speech"
dialog, dialogue - the lines spoken by characters in drama or fiction
aside - a line spoken by an actor to the audience but not intended for others on the stage
cue - an actor's line that immediately precedes and serves as a reminder for some action or speech
monologue - a (usually long) dramatic speech by a single actor
soliloquy - a (usually long) dramatic speech intended to give the illusion of unspoken reflections
throwaway - words spoken in a casual way with conscious under-emphasis
line - text consisting of a row of words written across a page or computer screen; "the letter consisted of three short lines"; "there are six lines in every stanza"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Suppose, further, that I have not thought about my breakfast in the meantime, and that I did not, while I was eating it, put into words what it consisted of.
Difficult?--troublesome?--these words cannot describe it.
How the printed words made us forget the world in which we live, and carried us away to a wonderland,
And these noises were as definitely words in his vocabulary as are words in a human's vocabulary.
I really cannot find words to express my appreciation of my nephew's conduct."
My programme was no drink in the morning; first drink- time came with the completion of my thousand words. Then, between that and the midday meal, were drinks numerous enough to develop a pleasant jingle.
Miss Dunross silently wrote the opening lines of the letter, and waited for the words that were to follow.
"DEAR HARRY: You may have wondered at the very few words I could find to say to you when we met so strangely yesterday.
Here Balashev hesitated: he remembered the words the Emperor Alexander had not written in his letter, but had specially inserted in the rescript to Saltykov and had told Balashev to repeat to Napoleon.
I sometimes wonder if Society had no duties toward me when I was a child selling matches in the street--when I was a hard-working girl fainting at my needle for want of food." Her voice faltered a little for the first time as it pronounced those words; she waited a moment, and recovered herself.
And let me ask what you mean by those words 'left' and 'right'.
Every word is either current, or strange, or metaphorical, or ornamental, or newly-coined, or lengthened, or contracted, or altered.