word ( words plural & 3rd person present) ( wording present participle) ( worded past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A word is a single unit of language that can be represented in writing or speech. In English, a word has a space on either side of it when it is written.
The words stood out clearly on the page..., The word `ginseng' comes from the Chinese word `Shen-seng'., ...swear words...
2 n-plural Someone's words are what they say or write.
oft with poss
I was devastated when her words came true..., The words of the young woman doctor echoed in his ears...
3 n-plural Thewords of a song consist of the text that is sung, in contrast to the music that is played.
usu the N
Can you hear the words on the album?
4 n-sing If you have a word with someone, you have a short conversation with them.
SPOKEN a N
I think it's time you had a word with him..., James, could I have a quiet word?...
5 n-count If you offer someone aword of something such as warning, advice, or praise, you warn, advise, or praise them.
N of n
A word of warning. Don't stick too precisely to what it says in the book...
6 n-sing If you say that someone does not hear, understand, or say a word, you are emphasizing that they hear, understand, or say nothing at all.
a N, with brd-neg (emphasis)
I can't understand a word she says..., Not a word was spoken.
7 n-uncount If there is word of something, people receive news or information about it.
also the N
There is no word from the authorities on the reported attack..., Word has been spreading fast of the incidents on the streets...
8 n-sing If you give your word, you make a sincere promise to someone.
...an adult who gave his word the boy would be supervised..., He simply cannot be trusted to keep his word.
9 n-sing If someone gives the word to do something, they give an order to do it.
I want nothing said about this until I give the word.
10 verb To word something in a particular way means to choose or use particular words to express it.
If I had written the letter, I might have worded it differently. V n adv/prep
-worded comb in adj
...a strongly-worded statement., ...a carefully-worded speech.
play on words
12 If you say that people consider something to be a dirty word, you mean that they disapprove of it.
dirty word phrase usu v-link PHR
So many people think feminism is a dirty word.
13 If you do something from the word go, you do it from the very beginning of a period of time or situation.
from the word go phrase PHR with cl
It's essential you make the right decisions from the word go.
14 You can use in their words or in their own words to indicate that you are reporting what someone said using the exact words that they used.
in sb's words/in sb's own words phrase PHR with cl
Even the Assistant Secretary of State had to admit that previous policy did not, in his words, produce results.
15 You use in a word to indicate that you are giving a summary of what you have just been saying, or are giving a reply, in as brief a way as possible.
in a word phrase PHR with cl
`Shouldn't he be given the leading role?'—`In a word<endash>No.'
16 If someone has the last word or the final word in a discussion, argument, or disagreement, they are the one who wins it or who makes the final decision.
the last word/the final word phrase
She does like to have the last word in any discussion..., The final word will still come from the Secretary of State.
17 If you say that something is the last word in luxury, comfort, or some other quality, you are emphasizing that it has a great deal of this quality.
the last word in sth phrase PHR n, usu v-link PHR (emphasis)
The spa is the last word in luxury and efficiency.
18 If you say that someone has said something, but not in so many words, you mean that they said it or expressed it, but in a very indirect way.
in so many words phrase usu with brd-neg, usu PHR after v, PHR with cl
`And has she agreed to go with you?'—`Not in so many words. But I read her thoughts'.
19 If news or information passes by word of mouth, people tell it to each other rather than it being printed in written form.
word of mouth phrase oft by/through PHR
The story has been passed down by word of mouth.
20 You say in other words in order to introduce a different, and usually simpler, explanation or interpretation of something that has just been said.
in other words phrase PHR with cl
The mobile library services have been reorganised<endash>in other words, they visit fewer places.
21 If you say something in your own words, you express it in your own way, without copying or repeating someone else's description.
in one's own words phrase PHR after v, PHR with cl
Now tell us in your own words about the events of Saturday.
22 If you say to someone `take my word for it', you mean that they should believe you because you are telling the truth.
take my word for it phrase V inflects
You'll buy nothing but trouble if you buy that house, take my word for it.
23 If you repeat something word for word, you repeat it exactly as it was originally said or written.
word for word phrase PHR after v
I don't try to memorize speeches word for word.
not get a word in edgeways →
not mince your words →
the operative word →
war of words →
code word ( code words plural ) , codeword, code-word A code word is a word or phrase that has a special meaning, different from its normal meaning, for the people who have agreed to use it in this way. n-count
...magnum, the code word for launching a radar attack.
four-letter word ( four-letter words plural ) A four-letter word is a short word that people consider to be rude or offensive, usually because it refers to sex or other bodily functions. n-count
linking word ( linking words plural )
in BRIT, also use link word A linking word is a word which shows a connection between clauses or sentences. `However' and `so' are linking words. n-count
The printed word is the same as the written word. n-sing the N
Thespoken word is used to refer to language expressed in speech, for example in contrast to written texts or music. n-sing usu the N
There is a potential educational benefit in allowing pictures to tell the story, rather than the spoken word.
swear word ( swear words plural ) , swearword A swear word is a word which is considered to be rude or offensive. Swear words are usually used when people are angry. n-count
-word ( -words plural ) You can use -word after a letter of the alphabet to refer politely or humorously to a word beginning with that letter which people find offensive or are embarrassed to use. comb in n-count
It was the first show to use the F-word and show nudity on stage..., Politicians began to use the dreaded R-word: recession.
word class ( word classes plural ) A word class is a group of words that have the same basic behaviour, for example nouns, adjectives, or verbs. n-count
word processing , word-processing
Word processing is the work or skill of producing printed documents using a computer. (COMPUTING) n-uncount oft N n
word processor ( word processors plural ) A word processor is a computer program or a computer which is used to produce printed documents. (COMPUTING) n-count
In computing, word wrapping is a process by which a word which comes at the end of a line is automatically moved onto a new line in order to keep the text within the margins. (COMPUTING) n-uncount
You use the written word to refer to language expressed in writing, especially when contrasted with speech or with other forms of expression such as painting or film. n-sing usu the N
Even in the 18th century scholars continued to give primacy to the written word.