• Noun
  • a sound or combination of sounds that has a meaning and is spoken or written
      1. How do you spell that word?
        “Please” is a useful word.
        Our teacher often used words I didn't know.
        What is the French word for car?
        She was a genius in every sense of the word. [=she was truly a genius]
        You don't need to use big words [=difficult words used to try to impress people] to make your point.
        Words fail me. [=I don't know what to say]
  • a brief remark or conversation
      1. You can't believe a word (of what) she says. [=you can't believe anything she says]
        Describe the experience in your own words.
        The lawyer used Joe's words against him.
        Could I have a word with you? [=could I talk with you briefly?]
        They gave me a word of warning [=they told me about] about the slippery roads.
        Don't say/breathe a word [=don't talk] about this to anyone.
        My grandfather was a man of few words. [=a man who did not talk very much]
        I've been asked to say a few words [=make a short speech or statement] about the new play.
  • an order or command
      1. She gave the word to begin.
        We will wait for your word before we serve dinner.
  • news or information
      1. (Is there) Any word on how they are?
        If word of this gets out, we're all in trouble.
        What's the word?
        There is still no word from the hospital.
        Spread the word [=tell the others] that we're leaving in five minutes.
        They sent word [=sent a message] that they'd be late.
        Word has it [=I have heard] that the neighbors are moving next month.
        The police put/got the word out that they were looking for him. [=the police let people know that they were looking for him]
  • a promise to do something
      1. I'll be there. I give you my word. [=I promise]
        You'd better keep your word. [=keep your promise to do something]
        He is a man of his word. = His word is his bond. [=he always keeps his promises]
        I told her I'd help. I can't go back on my word. [=I can't break my promise]
        You'll have to take my word for it. [=you'll have to believe me]
        She was true to her word. [=she did what she said she would do]
  • angry remarks
      1. Words were exchanged [=people said angry things to each other] and a fight broke out.
        He had words [=had an argument] with his boss.
  • stories and lessons of the Bible
      1. the Word of God
  • a remark that is made privately to someone
      1. May I have a word in your ear [=may I speak to you privately] before you leave?
  • by being told by another person
      1. We found this hotel by word of mouth.
  • from the beginning
      1. The show was a success from the word go.
        We were in trouble (right) from the word go.
  • a favorable comment
      1. Please put in a good word for me [=say something good about me] when you talk to the boss.
        (US, informal) I haven't seen you in ages! What's the good word? [=how's it going?; how are you?]
  • very briefly
      1. Our answer, in a word, is no.
  • in exactly those words or in exactly that way
      1. “Did he say he wouldn't do it?” “Not in so many words, but that was the impression I got.”
  • in clear and simple terms
      1. We explained our views to the press in words of one syllable.
  • to suggest that someone said or meant something that he or she did not say or mean
      1. Don't put words in my mouth. I wasn't defending his actions, despite what you may think.
  • to give an order
      1. When you want to leave (just) say the word.
  • to say exactly what someone was thinking
      1. I agree! You took the words right out of my mouth!
  • the final thing said in an argument or a discussion
      1. Your mother's decision is the final word on the matter.
        Why do you always have to have the last word? [=to be the last person to speak]
  • the power to make a final decision
      1. The judge will have the last word [=the final say] on the divorce agreement.
  • the most modern or best one of its kind
      1. This is the last word in wireless phones.
        The van's design is the last word in safety.
  • an argument in which people or groups criticize and disagree with each other publicly and repeatedly for usually a long time
      1. Rival groups have engaged in a war of words over the new law.
  • in the exact words
      1. He gave the same speech word for word [=verbatim] yesterday.
  • Verb
  • to say (something) in a particular way by choosing which words to use
      1. They worded [=phrased] their request with great care.
        Could we word the headline differently?
        Their request was worded very carefully.
        a carefully worded statement