Definition of word noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    word

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//wərd//
     
     
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    unit of language
  1. 1[countable] a single unit of language that means something and can be spoken or written Do not write more than 200 words. Do you know the words to this song? What's the Spanish word for“table”? He was a true friend in all senses of the word. Tell me what happened in your own words. I could hear every word they were saying. He couldn't find the words to thank her enough. Words fail me (= I cannot express how I feel). There are no words to say how sorry we are. I can't remember her exact words. Angry is not the word for it—I was furious. I can never put my feelings into words. see also buzzword, four-letter word, swear word
  2. something you say
  3. 2[countable] a thing that you say; a remark or statement Have a word withPat and see what she thinks. Could I have a quick word with you (= speak to you quickly)? A word of warning: read the instructions very carefully. words of love She left without a word (= without saying anything). I don't believe a word of his story (= I don't believe any of it). a man of few words (= who doesn't talk very much) I'd like to say a few words about future plans. Remember—not a word to (= don't tell) Peter about any of this. He never breathed a word of this to me.
  4. promise
  5. 3 [singular] a promise or guarantee that you will do something or that something will happen or is true I give you my word that this won't happen again. I give you my word of honor (= my sincere promise) We never doubted her word. We only have his word for it that the check is in the mail. to keep your word (= do what you promised) He promised to help and was as good as his word (= did what he promised). He's a man of his word (= he does what he promises). I trusted her not to go back on her word (= break her promise). I can't prove it—you'll have to take my word for it (= believe me).
  6. information/news
  7. 4 [singular] a piece of information or news There's been no word from them since before Christmas. She sent word that she would be late. If word gets out about the affair, he will have to resign. Word has it that she's leaving. The word is they split up. He likes to spread the word about the importance of healthy eating.
  8. Bible
  9. 5the Word (also the Word of God) [singular] the Bible and its teachings
  10. Thesauruswordterm phrase expression idiomThese are all words for a unit of language used to express something.word a single unit of language that means something and can be spoken or written:Do not write more than 200 words. He uses a lot of long words.term (somewhat formal) a word or phrase used as the name of something, especially one connected with a particular type of language:technical/legal/scientific terms “Old man” is a slang term for “father.”phrase a group of words that have a particular meaning when used together:Who coined the phrase “desktop publishing” (= used it for the first time)? In grammar, a phrase is a group of words without a finite verb, especially one that forms part of a sentence: “the green car” and “on Friday morning” are phrases.expression a word or phrase:He tends to use lots of new expressions that I've never heard before.idiom a group of words whose meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words:“To let the cat out of the bag” is an idiom meaning to tell a secret by mistake.Patterns a(n) word/term/expression for something a new word/term/phrase/expression a technical/colloquial/slang word/term/phrase/expression an idiomatic phrase/expression to use a(n) word/term/phrase/expression/idiom to coin a(n) word/term/phrase/expression a(n) word/term/phrase/expression/idiom means somethingIdioms
    actions speak louder than words(saying)
     
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    what a person actually does means more than what they say they will do
    bandy words (with somebody)(old-fashioned)
     
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    to argue with someone or speak rudely to them
    be a dirty word
     
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    to be a subject or an idea that people think is bad or immoral Profit is not a dirty word around here.
    be lost for words
     
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    to be so surprised, confused, etc. that you do not know what to say
    by word of mouth
     
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    because people tell each other and not because they read about it The news spread by word of mouth.
    eat your words
     
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    to admit that what you said was wrong
    famous last words(saying)
     
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    people sometimes say Famous last words! when they think someone is being too confident about something that is going to happen “Everything's under control.” “Famous last words!” This phrase refers to a collection of quotations of the dying words of famous people.
    fighting words
     
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    angry words that insult or challenge someone
    (right) from the word go(informal)
     
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    from the very beginning
    (not) get a word in edgewise
     
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    (not) to be able to say anything because someone else is speaking too much When Mary starts talking, no one else can get a word in edgewise.
    hang on somebody's words/on somebody's every word
     
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    to listen with great attention to someone you admire
    have/exchange words (with somebody) (about something)
     
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    to have an argument with someone We've had words. Words were exchanged.
    in other words
     
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    used to introduce an explanation of something They asked him to leave—in other words he was fired. Language Banki.e.explaining what you mean Some poems are mnemonics (i.e., they are designed to help you remember something). Some poems are mnemonics;that is to say, they are designed to help you remember something. Mnemonic poems –that is, poems designed to help you remember something – are an excellent way to learn lists. A limerick's rhyme scheme is A–A–B–B–A. In other words, the first, second, and fifth lines all rhyme with one another, while the third and fourth lines have their own rhyme. In this exercise, the reader is encouraged to work out the meaning, or rather the range of meanings, of the poem. This is a poem about death, or, more precisely, dying. He says his poems deal with “the big issues,”by which he means love, loss, grief, and death.
    (not) in so/as many words
     
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    (not) in exactly the same words as someone says were used “Did she say she was sorry?” “Not in so many words.” He didn't approve of the plan and said so in as many words.
    in a word(informal)
     
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    used for giving a very short, usually negative, answer or comment “Would you like to help us?” “In a word, no.”
    the last/final word (on something)
     
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    the last comment or decision about something He always has to have the last word in any argument. I'm willing to wait one more week, and that's my final word on the subject.
    the last word (in something)
     
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    the most recent, fashionable, advanced, etc. thing These apartments are the last word in luxury.
    mum's the word!(informal)
     
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    used to tell someone to say nothing about something and keep it secret
    not have a good word to say about/for somebody/something(informal)
     
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    to never say anything good about someone or something Nobody had a good word to say about him.
    not mince (your) words
     
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    to say something in a direct way even though it might offend other people They were severely criticized by the chairman, who was not a man to mince his words.
    the operative word
     
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    used to emphasize that a particular word or phrase is the most important one in a sentence I was in love with her—“was” being the operative word.
    a play on words
     
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    the humorous use of a word or phrase that can have two different meanings synonym pun
    the printed word/page
     
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    what is published in books, newspapers, etc. the power of the printed word
    put in a (good) word for somebody
     
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    to praise someone to someone else in order to help them get a job, etc.
    put words into somebody's mouth
     
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    to suggest that someone has said something when in fact they have not
    say/give the word
     
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    to give an order or make a request Just say the word, and I'll go.
    take somebody at their word
     
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    to believe exactly what someone says or promises
    take the words right out of somebody's mouth
     
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    to say what someone else was going to say
    too funny, silly, ridiculous, etc. for words
     
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    extremely funny, silly, ridiculous, etc.
    a war of words
     
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    a bitter argument or disagreement over a period of time between two or more people or groups the political war of words over tax
    weigh your words
     
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    to choose your words carefully so that you say exactly what you mean He spoke slowly, weighing his words.
    (upon) my word(old-fashioned)
     
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    used to show that you are surprised about something
    word for word
     
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    in exactly the same words or (when translated) exactly equivalent words She repeated their conversation word for word to me. a word-for-word translation
    somebody's word is their bond
     
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    someone's promise can be relied on completely
    words to that effect
     
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    used to show that you are giving the general meaning of what someone said rather than the exact words He told me to leave—or words to that effect.
    the written word
     
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    language expressed in writing rather than in speech the permanence of the written word
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: word