take at ones word


a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning. Words are composed of one or more morphemes and are either the smallest units susceptible of independent use or consist of two or three such units combined under certain linking conditions, as with the loss of primary accent that distinguishes black·bird· from black· bird·. Words are usually separated by spaces in writing, and are distinguished phonologically, as by accent, in many languages.
(used in combination with the first letter of an offensive or unmentionable word, the first letter being lowercase or uppercase, with or without a following hyphen): My mom married at 20, and she mentions the m-word every time I meet someone she thinks is eligible. See also f-word, n-word.
speech or talk: to express one's emotion in words; Words mean little when action is called for.
the text or lyrics of a song as distinguished from the music.
contentious or angry speech; a quarrel: We had words and she walked out on me.
a short talk or conversation: Marston, I'd like a word with you.
an expression or utterance: a word of warning.
warrant, assurance, or promise: I give you my word I'll be there.
news; tidings; information: We received word of his death.
a verbal signal, as a password, watchword, or countersign.
an authoritative utterance, or command: His word was law.
Also called machine word. Computers. a string of bits, characters, or bytes treated as a single entity by a computer, particularly for numeric purposes.
(initial capital letter) . Also called the Word, the Word of God.
the Scriptures; the Bible.
the Logos.
the message of the gospel of Christ.
a proverb or motto.
verb (used with object)
to express in words; select words to express; phrase: to word a contract with great care.
at a word, in immediate response to an order or request; in an instant: At a word they came to take the situation in hand.
be as good as one's word, to hold to one's promises.
eat one's words, to retract one's statement, especially with humility: They predicted his failure, but he made them eat their words.
have a word, to talk briefly: Tell your aunt that I would like to have a word with her.
have no words for, to be unable to describe: She had no words for the sights she had witnessed.
in a word, in summary; in short: In a word, there was no comparison. Also, in one word.
in so many words, in unequivocal terms; explicitly: She told them in so many words to get out.
keep one's word, to fulfill one's promise: I said I'd meet the deadline, and I kept my word.
man of his word / woman of her word, a person who can be trusted to keep a promise; a reliable person.
(upon) my word!, (used as an exclamation of surprise or astonishment.)
of few words, laconic; taciturn: a woman of few words but of profound thoughts.
of many words, talkative; loquacious; wordy: a person of many words but of little wit.
put in a good word for, to speak favorably of; commend: He put in a good word for her with the boss. Also, put in a word for.
take one at one's word, to take a statement to be literal and true.
take the words out of one's mouth, to say exactly what another person was about to say.
weigh one's words, to choose one's words carefully in speaking or writing: It was an important message, and he was weighing his words.

before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch woord, German Wort, Old Norse orth, Gothic waurd; akin to OPruss wirds, Latin verbum ‘word’, Lithuanian var̃das ‘name’

interword, adjective
outword, verb (used with object)
well-worded, adjective

4. statement, declaration. 5. pledge. 6. message, report, account. 7. catchword, shibboleth.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source Link To take at ones word
World English Dictionary
word (wɜːd)
1.  one of the units of speech or writing that native speakers of a language usually regard as the smallest isolable meaningful element of the language, although linguists would analyse these further into morphemesRelated: lexical, verbal
2.  an instance of vocal intercourse; chat, talk, or discussion: to have a word with someone
3.  an utterance or expression, esp a brief one: a word of greeting
4.  news or information: he sent word that he would be late
5.  a verbal signal for action; command: when I give the word, fire!
6.  an undertaking or promise: I give you my word; he kept his word
7.  an autocratic decree or utterance; order: his word must be obeyed
8.  a watchword or slogan, as of a political party: the word now is ``freedom''
9.  computing a set of bits used to store, transmit, or operate upon an item of information in a computer, such as a program instruction
10.  as good as one's word doing what one has undertaken or promised to do
11.  at a word at once
12.  by word of mouth orally rather than by written means
13.  in a word briefly or in short
14.  my word!
 a.  an exclamation of surprise, annoyance, etc
 b.  (Austral) an exclamation of agreement
15.  of one's word given to or noted for keeping one's promises: I am a man of my word
16.  put in a word for, put in a good word for to make favourable mention of (someone); recommend
17.  take someone at his word, take someone at her word to assume that someone means, or will do, what he or she says: when he told her to go, she took him at his word and left
18.  take someone's word for it to accept or believe what someone says
19.  the last word
 a.  the closing remark of a conversation or argument, esp a remark that supposedly settles an issue
 b.  the latest or most fashionable design, make, or model: the last word in bikinis
 c.  the finest example (of some quality, condition, etc): the last word in luxury
20.  the word the proper or most fitting expression: cold is not the word for it, it's freezing!
21.  upon my word!
 a.  archaic on my honour
 b.  an exclamation of surprise, annoyance, etc
22.  word for word
 a.  (of a report, transcription, etc) using exactly the same words as those employed in the situation being reported; verbatim
 b.  translated by substituting each word in the new text for each corresponding word in the original rather than by general sense
23.  word of honour a promise; oath
24.  (modifier) of, relating to, or consisting of words: a word list
vb (often foll by up)
25.  (tr) to state in words, usually specially selected ones; phrase
26.  informal (Austral) to inform or advise (a person)
Related: lexical, verbal
[Old English word; related to Old High German wort, Old Norse orth, Gothic waurd, Latin verbum, Sanskrit vratá command]

Word (wɜːd)
1.  Christianity the 2nd person of the Trinity
2.  Often called: the Word of God Scripture, the Bible, or the Gospels as embodying or representing divine revelation
[translation of Greek logos, as in John 1:1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. word "speech, talk, utterance, word," from P.Gmc. *wurdan (cf. O.S., O.Fris. word, Du. woord, O.H.G., Ger. wort, O.N. orð, Goth. waurd), from PIE *were- "speak, say" (see verb). The meaning "promise" was in O.E., as was the theological sense. In the plural, the meaning
"verbal altercation" (as in to have words with someone) dates from 1462. Wordy is O.E. wordig "verbose." Wording "choice of words" apparently was coined by Milton (in "Eikonoklastes," 1649). Word processor first recorded 1970. A word to the wise is from L. phrase verbum sapienti satis est "a word to the wise is enough." Word of mouth is recorded from c.1553.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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