from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing or printing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes.
  • noun Something said; an utterance, remark, or comment.
  • noun A command or direction; an order.
  • noun An assurance or promise; sworn intention.
  • noun A verbal signal; a password or watchword.
  • noun Discourse or talk; speech.
  • noun Music The text of a vocal composition; lyrics.
  • noun Hostile or angry remarks made back and forth.
  • noun News.
  • noun Rumor.
  • noun Used euphemistically in combination with the initial letter of a term that is considered offensive or taboo or that one does not want to utter.
  • noun The Scriptures; the Bible.
  • noun Computers A set of bits that is of a fixed size and is typically operated on by a computer's processor.
  • transitive verb To express in words.
  • interjection Slang Used to express approval or an affirmative response to something. Sometimes used with up.
  • idiom (at a word) In immediate response.
  • idiom (good word) A favorable comment.
  • idiom (good word) Favorable news.
  • idiom (have a word with) To have a brief conversation with (someone); speak to.
  • idiom (have no words for) To be unable to describe or talk about.
  • idiom (in a word) In short; in summary.
  • idiom (in so many words) In precisely those words; exactly.
  • idiom (in so many words) Speaking candidly and straightforwardly.
  • idiom (of few words) Not conversational or loquacious; laconic.
  • idiom (of (one's) word) Displaying personal dependability.
  • idiom (take at (someone's) word) To be convinced of another's sincerity and act in accord with his or her statement.
  • idiom (take (someone's) word for it) To believe what someone says without investigating further.
  • idiom (upon my word) Indeed; really.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An erroneous form of ord.
  • To express in words; phrase.
  • To ply with or overpower by words; talk.
  • To flatter; cajole.
  • To make or unmake by a word or command.
  • To speak; talk; converse; discourse.
  • noun A sound, or combination of sounds, used in any language as the sign of a conception, or of a conception together with its grammatical relations; the smallest bit of human language forming a grammatical part of speech; a vocable; a term.
  • noun The letter or letters or other characters, written or printed, which represent such a vocable: as, a word misprinted.
  • noun Speech; talk; discourse; conversation: commonly in the plural.
  • noun Saying; remark; expression: as, a word of comfort or sympathy; a word of reproach.
  • noun A symbol of thought, as distinguished from thought itself; sound as opposed to sense.
  • noun Intelligence; information; tidings; report: without an article, and used only as a singular: as, to send word of one's arrival.
  • noun An expression of will or decision; an injunction; command; order.
  • noun A password; a watchword; a war-cry; a signal, or term of recognition, even when consisting of several words.
  • noun A brief or pithy remark or saying; a proverb; a motto.
  • noun Affirmation; promise; obligation; good faith; a term or phrase implying or containing an assertion, declaration, assurance, or the like, which involves the faith or honor of the utterer of it: with a possessive: as, I pledge you my word; on my word, sir.
  • noun Utterances or terms interchanged expressive of anger, contention, or reproach: in the plural, and often qualified by high, hot, hard, sharp, or the like.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English word, from Old English word ("word, speech, sentence, statement, command, order, subject of talk, story, news, report, fame, promise, verb"), from Proto-Germanic *wurdan (“word”), from Proto-Indo-European *werdʰo- (“word”). Cognate with Scots word ("word"), West Frisian wurd ("word"), Dutch woord ("word"), German Wort ("word"), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish ord ("word"), Icelandic orð ("word"), Latin verbum ("word"), Lithuanian vardas ("name"), Albanian urtë ("sage, wise, silent"). Etymological twin of verb.


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  • Listing "word" connected me to listing recursion. Funnily enough, Wordie actually broke on "word" (it's fixed now).

    December 7, 2006

  • One-word sentences? Eliminate.

    January 25, 2007

  • Some of the interconnected bounty of words is that a man can be much pleased over his own descriptions of Rome without ever actually going there; and then another, hearing of this, can then enjoy his own verbal condemnation of same.

    (Footnote: The mother of all win/win situations was words.)

    --Jan Cox

    April 6, 2007

  • I found word by accidentally searching on a null string :) Sometimes the javascript in that search box eats my characters when I mouse fumble and click back in the box twice.

    April 8, 2007

  • I love word (<== note the recursion indicated) because it is a one-word sentence.

    September 24, 2007

  • 'Something you must keep after giving it to another.' - The Foolish Dictionary

    February 27, 2008

  • As a verb it has a highly unusual property: an adjunct of manner is obligatory (which therefore makes it a complement of manner). You can't just word a letter: you have to word it, for example, carefully or with care.

    October 29, 2008

  • Testing

    March 26, 2009

  • bouncebackabilty is a word meaning being able to recover from setbacks and/or obstacles.

    May 12, 2009

  • Does that include bodgy spelling?

    May 12, 2009

  • bouncebackability is a bippety-boppety way of describing resilience is it not?

    June 9, 2009

  • It is.

    June 10, 2009

  • will, messenger

    July 24, 2009

  • My sister was asked by her English teacher (who had also been my English teacher) back in the Nineties, "What is a word?".

    Although the exercise had been completed in class that day, I sent along my definition (this has been revised slightly over the years): A word is the concatenation of phonetic vocalizations which is only rendered comprehensible after application of the pronunciation and syntactic norms of the language of intended usage. The teacher's response was, "That's typical of him!"

    That definition's probably wrong, but you never know...

    June 20, 2010

  • In typing, a word is a unit of length signified by five characters/spaces.

    ~via NPR's Says You

    December 12, 2010

  • "A word may be any part of speech, as verb, noun, particle, etc.; it may be radical, as love, or derivative, as lover, lovely, loveliness, or an inflected form, as loves, loved; it may be simple, or compound, as love-sick."

    --Cent. Dict.

    December 2, 2012