- 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 something you say
- 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. promise
- 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). information/news
- 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. Bible
- 5the Word (also the Word of God) [singular] the Bible and its teachings 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
unit of language
nounjump to other results
what a person actually does means more than what they say they will do
actions speak louder than words (saying)jump to other results
to argue with someone or speak rudely to them
bandy words (with somebody) (old-fashioned)jump to other results
to be a subject or an idea that people think is bad or immoral Profit is not a dirty word around here.
be a dirty wordjump to other results
to be so surprised, confused, etc. that you do not know what to say
be lost for wordsjump to other results
because people tell each other and not because they read about it The news spread by word of mouth.
by word of mouthjump to other results
to admit that what you said was wrong
eat your wordsjump to other results
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.
famous last words (saying)jump to other results
angry words that insult or challenge someone
fighting wordsjump to other results
from the very beginning
(right) from the word go (informal)jump to other results
(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.
(not) get a word in edgewisejump to other results
to listen with great attention to someone you admire
hang on somebody's words/on somebody's every wordjump to other results
to have an argument with someone We've had words. Words were exchanged.
have/exchange words (with somebody) (about something)jump to other results
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.
in other wordsjump to other results
(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.
(not) in so/as many wordsjump to other results
used for giving a very short, usually negative, answer or comment “Would you like to help us?” “In a word, no.”
in a word (informal)jump to other results
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/final word (on something)jump to other results
the most recent, fashionable, advanced, etc. thing These apartments are the last word in luxury.
the last word (in something)jump to other results
used to tell someone to say nothing about something and keep it secret
mum's the word! (informal)jump to other results
to never say anything good about someone or something Nobody had a good word to say about him.
not have a good word to say about/for somebody/something (informal)jump to other results
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.
not mince (your) wordsjump to other results
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.
the operative wordjump to other results
the humorous use of a word or phrase that can have two different meanings synonym pun
a play on wordsjump to other results
what is published in books, newspapers, etc. the power of the printed word
the printed word/pagejump to other results
to praise someone to someone else in order to help them get a job, etc.
put in a (good) word for somebodyjump to other results
to suggest that someone has said something when in fact they have not
put words into somebody's mouthjump to other results
to give an order or make a request Just say the word, and I'll go.
say/give the wordjump to other results
to believe exactly what someone says or promises
take somebody at their wordjump to other results
to say what someone else was going to say
take the words right out of somebody's mouthjump to other results
extremely funny, silly, ridiculous, etc.
too funny, silly, ridiculous, etc. for wordsjump to other results
a bitter argument or disagreement over a period of time between two or more people or groups the political war of words over tax
a war of wordsjump to other results
to choose your words carefully so that you say exactly what you mean He spoke slowly, weighing his words.
weigh your wordsjump to other results
used to show that you are surprised about something
(upon) my word (old-fashioned)jump to other results
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
word for wordjump to other results
someone's promise can be relied on completely
somebody's word is their bondjump to other results
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.
words to that effectjump to other results
language expressed in writing rather than in speech the permanence of the written word
the written wordjump to other results