Meaning of WORD in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ wɜ:(r)d ]

( words, wording, worded)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


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...



Someone’s words are what they say or write.

I was devastated when her words came true...

The words of the young woman doctor echoed in his ears...

N-PLURAL : oft with poss


The words of a song consist of the text that is sung, in contrast to the music that is played.

Can you hear the words on the album?

= lyrics

N-PLURAL : usu the N


If you have a word with someone, you have a short conversation with them. ( SPOKEN )

I think it’s time you had a word with him...

James, could I have a quiet word?...

N-SING : a N


If you offer someone a word of something such as warning, advice, or praise, you warn, advise, or praise them.

A word of warning. Don’t stick too precisely to what it says in the book...

N-COUNT : N of n


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.

I can’t understand a word she says...

Not a word was spoken.

N-SING : a N , with brd-neg [ emphasis ]


If there is word of something, people receive news or information about it.

There is no word from the authorities on the reported attack...

Word has been spreading fast of the incidents on the streets...

N-UNCOUNT : also the N


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.

N-SING : poss N


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.

N-SING : the N


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.

VERB : V n adv / prep

• -worded

...a strongly-worded statement.

...a carefully-worded speech.



see also wording , code word , four-letter word , play on words , printed word , spoken word , written word


If you say that people consider something to be a dirty word , you mean that they disapprove of it.

So many people think feminism is a dirty word.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR


If you do something from the word go , you do it from the very beginning of a period of time or situation.

It’s essential you make the right decisions from the word go.

PHRASE : PHR with cl


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.

Even the Assistant Secretary of State had to admit that previous policy did not, in his words, produce results.

PHRASE : PHR with cl


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.

‘Shouldn’t he be given the leading role?’—‘In a word–No.’

= in short

PHRASE : PHR with cl


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.

She does like to have the last word in any discussion...

The final word will still come from the Secretary of State.



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 spa is the last word in luxury and efficiency.

PHRASE : PHR n , usu v-link PHR [ emphasis ]


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.

‘And has she agreed to go with you?’—‘Not in so many words. But I read her thoughts’.

PHRASE : usu with brd-neg , usu PHR after v , PHR with cl


If news or information passes by word of mouth , people tell it to each other rather than it being printed in written form.

The story has been passed down by word of mouth.

PHRASE : oft by/through PHR


You say in other words in order to introduce a different, and usually simpler, explanation or interpretation of something that has just been said.

The mobile library services have been reorganised–in other words, they visit fewer places.

PHRASE : PHR with cl


If you say something in your own words , you express it in your own way, without copying or repeating someone else’s description.

Now tell us in your own words about the events of Saturday.

PHRASE : PHR after v , PHR with cl


If you say to someone ‘ take my word for it ’, you mean that they should believe you because you are telling the truth.

You’ll buy nothing but trouble if you buy that house, take my word for it.

PHRASE : V inflects


If you repeat something word for word , you repeat it exactly as it was originally said or written.

I don’t try to memorize speeches word for word.

= verbatim

PHRASE : PHR after v


not get a word in edgeways: see edgeways

not mince your words: see mince

the operative word: see operative

war of words: see war

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.