Meaning of WORD in English

I. ˈwərd, ˈwə̄d, ˈwəid noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wort word, Old Norse orth, Gothic waurd, Latin verbum word, Greek eirein to say, rhēma word, rhētōr orator, Lithuanian vardas name


a. : something that is said : utterance , statement

my father loved you; he said he did, and with his deed did crown his word — Shakespeare

not a word about his plans

said a word to his employer on behalf of a friend who was looking for work

b. words plural

(1) : talk , discourse , speech , language

putting one's feelings into words

wonderful beyond words

(2) : the text of a vocal musical composition

trivial words set to splendid music


(1) : a short conversation

would like to have a word with you

(2) : a short remark

a word of advice



(1) : a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use : linguistic form that is a minimum free form

the order of the words in a phrase

the meaning of a word

(2) : the entire set of linguistic forms produced by combining a single base with various inflectional elements (as affixes) without change in the part of speech

man, man's, men, and men's are different forms of one word

— see paradigm

b. : a written or printed character or combination of characters representing a spoken word ; especially : any segment of written or printed discourse ordinarily appearing between spaces or between a space and a punctuation mark

average number of words to a line

c. : code group

d. : a combination of electrical or magnetic impulses conveying a quantum of information in communication and computer work

3. : order , command , instruction

don't move till I give the word

his word is law

4. or word of god usually capitalized W & capitalized G

a. : the divine Wisdom especially as finding manifestation in the world and man and above all in Jesus Christ : logos ; specifically : the second person of the Trinity

the Logos is both the reason and the Word of God — W.F.Howard

Christ is the Word become flesh — J.A.Mackay

b. : the gospel message : gospel I 1 ; also : the content, communication, and effectual implementation of the gospel in the lives of men

the Bible contains the Word of God to man — L.A.Weigle

preach the Word in the mountains of eastern Tennessee — H.L.Mencken

c. : a self-revelation from God to men : God's disclosure of himself to men ; also : the expressed or manifested mind and will of God

God's Word was one of the most general terms used by Israel for revelation — G.E.Wright

d. : God's creative and redemptive activity especially as manifested in the creation and preservation of the world and in acts of salvation in the lives of men

by the Word of God heavens existed long ago — 2 Pet 3:5 (Revised Standard Version)

upholding the universe by his Word of power — Heb 1:3 (Revised Standard Version)

for the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword — Heb 4:12 (Revised Standard Version)

e. : a holy book : canon or collection of sacred scriptures divinely inspired by God

will be readings from the Words of God — the Torah, the Bible, the Koran — Edris Rice-Wray


a. : news , report , account , message , information — used in the singular and often with no article

brought word that a financial backer of the expedition … had died — American Guide Series: Maine

sent word … that he planned to attend — New York Times

in Washington when the word came of a great defeat at Bull Run

b. : common talk or report : rumor — used in the singular and often with no article

word of the prowess of the twelve-year-old got about — Current Biography

the word has gone about that there will be no prosecution — Tom Fitzsimmons

6. : the act of speaking or of making verbal communication of any kind

loyal in word and deed

: product of such an act

what people learn from the written word


a. : saying , proverb , maxim

b. : a motto especially in heraldry



(1) : promise

I give you my word

kept her word

as good as his word

(2) : the honor involved in the keeping of a promise

pledged himself on his word to be present

b. : an assertion implying the authority or truthfulness of the person making it

not that I doubt your word

take my word for it

has the doctor's word for it that no operation is needed

9. : a quarrelsome utterance or conversation

one word led to another

— usually used in plural

some words between him and his father

he and his friend had words and parted

and sometimes with an adjective modifier

some hard words passed between them


a. : a verbal signal : password , watchword

b. : the most appropriate term to indicate what kind of action is required or prevalent — used in the predicate after the

in dealing with difficult children, patience is the word

c. : the most appropriate term to express the idea intended — used in the predicate after the

mediocre is not the word for his performance; it was incredibly bad


word , vocable , and term can mean any letter or combination of letters or any sound or combination of sounds capable of being pronounced and expressing an idea that is by tradition or common consent associated with the letters or the sounds. word applies to a letter or combination of letters or a sound or a combination of sounds that forms an indivisible whole constituting one of the ultimate units of a language; vocable throws emphasis upon a word as pronounced or spelled rather than as a unit of meaning

a flat denial of poetic possibilities, in the case of any vocable, is liable to disastrous refutation — J.L.Lowes

accustomed to songs in which the words are often merely convenient vocables with the melody usually more important than the text — Evelyn H. Scholl

term applies both to words and to phrases that express a whole idea and form one of the units of expression in a language, applying especially to units with a more or less precise technical use or meaning

the term communism is used today to describe both a political philosophy and its translation into reality — H.W.Gatzke

“the most important woman in Finland” is a term which has been applied — Current Biography

all professions are likely to develop innumerable terms that constitute an almost private jargon

- at a word

- good word

- in a word

- in so many words

- my word

- of few words

- of many words

- of one's word

- upon my word

- words of one syllable

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English worden, from word, n. — more at word I

intransitive verb

archaic : to use words : speak

transitive verb

1. : to utter or recite as spoken words

2. obsolete : to ply with words

3. : to express in words : phrase

a strongly worded message

4. obsolete : to bring into some condition by talking

be worded to death — James Howell

- word it

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.