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word Idioms & Phrases


A play upon words

  • the use of a word in such a way as to be capable of double meaning; punning.
Webster 1913

As good as one's word

  • faithful to a promise.
Webster 1913

Bug word

  • swaggering or threatening language. Obs.
Webster 1913

By word of mouth

  • adverb orally
    viva voce.
    • I heard it viva voce
  • adverb by spoken rather than written means
    orally.
    • these stories were transmitted by word of mouth
WordNet
  • orally; by actual speaking. Boyle.
Webster 1913

choice of words

  • noun the manner in which something is expressed in words
    diction; phrasing; verbiage; phraseology; wording.
    • use concise military verbiage"- G.S.Patton
WordNet

closed-class word

  • noun a word that is uninflected and serves a grammatical function but has little identifiable meaning
    closed-class word.
WordNet

cognate word

  • noun a word is cognate with another if both derive from the same word in an ancestral language
    cognate.
WordNet

Compound word

  • a word composed of two or more words; specifically, two or more words joined together by a hyphen.
Webster 1913

content word

  • noun a word to which an independent meaning can be assigned
    content word.
WordNet

curse word

  • noun profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger
    swearing; swearword; expletive; cuss; curse; oath.
    • expletives were deleted
WordNet

deictic word

  • noun a word specifying identity or spatial or temporal location from the perspective of a speaker or hearer in the context in which the communication occurs
    deictic.
    • words that introduce particulars of the speaker's and hearer's shared cognitive field into the message"- R.Rommetveit
WordNet

dirty word

  • noun an offensive or indecent word or phrase
    obscenity; smut; filth; vulgarism.
  • noun a word that is considered to be unmentionable
    • `failure' is a dirty word to him
WordNet

empty words

  • noun loud and confused and empty talk
    rhetoric; palaver; empty talk; hot air.
    • mere rhetoric
WordNet

entry word

  • noun the form of a word that heads a lexical entry and is alphabetized in a dictionary
    citation form; entry word.
WordNet

equivalent word

  • noun two words that can be interchanged in a context are said to be synonymous relative to that context
    synonym.
WordNet

four-letter anglo-saxon word

  • noun any of several short English words (often having 4 letters) generally regarded as obscene or offensive
    four-letter Anglo-Saxon word.
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four-letter word

  • noun any of several short English words (often having 4 letters) generally regarded as obscene or offensive
    four-letter Anglo-Saxon word.
WordNet

function word

  • noun a word that is uninflected and serves a grammatical function but has little identifiable meaning
    closed-class word.
WordNet

get word

  • verb get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally
    pick up; get a line; discover; see; hear; learn; find out; get wind.
    • I learned that she has two grown-up children
    • I see that you have been promoted
WordNet

ghost word

  • noun a word form that has entered the language through the perpetuation of an error
WordNet

Good word

  • noun something that recommends (or expresses commendation of) a person or thing as worthy or desirable
    testimonial; recommendation.
  • noun good news
WordNet
  • commendation; favorable account. "And gave the harmless fellow a good word." Pope.
Webster 1913

guide word

  • noun a word printed at the top of the page of a dictionary or other reference book to indicate the first or last item on that page
    catchword; guideword.
WordNet

have words

  • verb censure severely or angrily
    call on the carpet; rag; dress down; remonstrate; chew out; take to task; call down; jaw; lambast; trounce; scold; chide; berate; chew up; rebuke; reprimand; reproof; lecture; bawl out; lambaste.
    • The mother scolded the child for entering a stranger's car
    • The deputy ragged the Prime Minister
    • The customer dressed down the waiter for bringing cold soup
WordNet

head word

  • noun a content word that can be qualified by a modifier
    headword.
  • noun (grammar) the word in a grammatical constituent that plays the same grammatical role as the whole constituent
    head.
WordNet

honeyed words

  • noun inconsequential expressions of affection
    sweet nothings.
    • he whispered sweet nothings into her ear
WordNet

idle words

  • noun empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk
    jazz; nothingness; malarky; malarkey; wind.
    • that's a lot of wind
    • don't give me any of that jazz
WordNet

In a word

  • briefly; to sum up.
Webster 1913

in other words

  • adverb otherwise stated
    put differently.
    • in other words, we are broke
WordNet

In word

  • in declaration; in profession. "Let us not love in word, . . . but in deed and in truth." 1 John iii. 8.
Webster 1913

key word

  • noun a word that is used as a pattern to decode an encrypted message
  • noun a significant word used in indexing or cataloging
WordNet

last word

  • noun the final statement in a verbal argument
    • she always gets the last word
  • noun an authoritative statement
    • my doctor has the last word on the medicines I take
  • noun elegance by virtue of being fashionable
    stylishness; swank; smartness; chicness; chichi; modishness; chic.
WordNet

main entry word

  • noun the form of a word that heads a lexical entry and is alphabetized in a dictionary
    citation form; entry word.
WordNet

monosyllabic word

  • noun a word or utterance of one syllable
    monosyllable.
WordNet

Nonce word

  • noun a word with a special meaning used for a special occasion
    hapax legomenon.
WordNet
  • "a word apparently employed only for the nonce".
Webster 1913

Nuns of the Word Incarnate

  • (R. C. Ch.), an order of nuns founded in France in 1625, and approved in 1638. The order, which also exists in the United States, was instituted for the purpose of doing honor to the "Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God."
Webster 1913

open-class word

  • noun a word to which an independent meaning can be assigned
    content word.
WordNet

opposite word

  • noun a word that expresses a meaning opposed to the meaning of another word, in which case the two words are antonyms of each other
    antonym; opposite.
    • to him the antonym of `gay' was `depressed'
WordNet

polysemantic word

  • noun a word having more than one meaning
    polysemantic word; polysemant.
WordNet

polysemous word

  • noun a word having more than one meaning
    polysemantic word; polysemant.
WordNet

polysyllabic word

  • noun a word of more than three syllables
    polysyllable.
WordNet

portmanteau word

  • noun a new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings
    blend; portmanteau.
    • `smog' is a blend of `smoke' and `fog'
    • `motel' is a portmanteau word made by combining `motor' and `hotel'
    • `brunch' is a well-known portmanteau
WordNet

Precatory words

  • (Law), words of recommendation, request, entreaty, wish, or expectation, employed in wills, as distinguished from express directions; in some cases creating a trust.
Webster 1913

root word

  • noun (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed
    radical; stem; theme; base; root.
    • thematic vowels are part of the stem
WordNet

send word

  • verb inform (somebody) of something
    apprize; apprise; give notice; notify; advise.
    • I advised him that the rent was due
WordNet

sharp-worded

  • adjective satellite harsh
    sharp; tart.
    • sharp criticism
    • a sharp-worded exchange
    • a tart remark
WordNet

smear word

  • noun an epithet that can be used to smear someone's reputation
    • he used the smear word `communist' for everyone who disagreed with him
WordNet

spoken word

  • noun a word that is spoken aloud
    vocable.
WordNet

string of words

  • noun a linear sequence of words as spoken or written
    string of words; linguistic string.
WordNet

subordinate word

  • noun a word that is more specific than a given word
    subordinate; hyponym.
WordNet

superordinate word

  • noun a word that is more generic than a given word
    superordinate; hypernym.
WordNet

The word, ∨ The Word

  • . (Theol.) (a) The gospel message; esp., the Scriptures, as a revelation of God. "Bold to speak the word without fear." Phil. i. 14. (b) The second person in the Trinity before his manifestation in time by the incarnation; among those who reject a Trinity of persons, some one or all of the divine attributes personified. John i. 1.
Webster 1913

To eat one's words

  • to retract what one has said. (See the Citation under Blurt.)
  • to retract what has been said.
Webster 1913

To have the words for

  • to speak for; to act as spokesman. Obs. "Our host hadde the wordes for us all." Chaucer.
Webster 1913

To make words

  • to multiply words.
Webster 1913

To word it

  • to bandy words; to dispute. Obs. "To word it with a shrew."
Webster 1913

weasel word

  • noun an equivocal qualification; a word used to avoid making an outright assertion
WordNet

weasel-worded

  • adjective satellite evasively worded in order to avoid an unqualified statement
    hedged.
WordNet

whole-word method

  • noun teaching reading by training beginners to associate printed words with spoken words
WordNet

word accent

  • noun the distribution of stresses within a polysyllabic word
    word accent.
WordNet

Word blindness

  • noun inability to perceive written words
    alexia; visual aphasia.
WordNet
  • (Physiol.), inability to understand printed or written words or symbols, although the person affected may be able to see quite well, speak fluently, and write correctly. Landois & Stirling.
Webster 1913

word class

  • noun one of the traditional categories of words intended to reflect their functions in a grammatical context
    part of speech; form class.
WordNet

Word deafness

  • noun an impairment in understanding spoken language that is not attributable to hearing loss
    auditory aphasia; acoustic aphasia.
WordNet
  • (Physiol.), inability to understand spoken words, though the person affected may hear them and other sounds, and hence is not deaf.
Webster 1913

word division

  • noun division of a word especially at the end of a line on a page
    hyphenation.
WordNet

Word dumbness

  • (Physiol.), inability to express ideas in verbal language, though the power of speech is unimpaired.
Webster 1913

word finder

  • noun a thesaurus organized to help you find the word you want but cannot think of
    wordfinder.
WordNet

Word for word

  • adverb using exactly the same words
    verbatim.
    • he repeated her remarks verbatim
WordNet
  • in the exact words; verbatim; literally; exactly; as, to repeat anything word for word.
Webster 1913

word form

  • noun the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something
    descriptor; form; signifier.
    • the inflected forms of a word can be represented by a stem and a list of inflections to be attached
WordNet

word game

  • noun any game involving the formation or alteration or discovery of words
WordNet

word meaning

  • noun the accepted meaning of a word
    word meaning; acceptation.
WordNet

word of advice

  • noun cautionary advice about something imminent (especially imminent danger or other unpleasantness)
    monition; warning; admonition.
    • a letter of admonition about the dangers of immorality
    • the warning was to beware of surprises
    • his final word of advice was not to play with matches
WordNet

word of farewell

  • noun an acknowledgment or expression of goodwill at parting
    farewell.
WordNet

word of god

  • noun a manifestation of the mind and will of God
  • noun the sacred writings of the Christian religions
    Christian Bible; Bible; Word; Holy Writ; Holy Scripture; Book; Good Book; Scripture.
    • he went to carry the Word to the heathen
  • noun the message of the Gospel of Christ
WordNet

word of honor

  • noun a promise
    parole; word.
    • he gave his word
WordNet

word of mouth

  • noun gossip spread by spoken communication
    grapevine; pipeline.
    • the news of their affair was spread by word of mouth
WordNet

word order

  • noun the order of words in a text
WordNet

Word painting

  • the act of describing an object fully and vividly by words only, so as to present it clearly to the mind, as if in a picture.
Webster 1913

Word picture

  • noun a graphic or vivid verbal description
    picture; delineation; characterization; characterisation; word picture; depiction.
    • too often the narrative was interrupted by long word pictures
    • the author gives a depressing picture of life in Poland
    • the pamphlet contained brief characterizations of famous Vermonters
WordNet
  • an accurate and vivid description, which presents an object clearly to the mind, as if in a picture.
Webster 1913

word play

  • noun playing on words or speech sounds
WordNet

word processing

  • noun rapid and efficient processing (storage and printing) of linguistic data for composition and editing
WordNet

word processing system

  • noun an application that provides the user with tools needed to write and edit and format text and to send it to a printer
    word processing system.
WordNet

word processor

  • noun an application that provides the user with tools needed to write and edit and format text and to send it to a printer
    word processing system.
WordNet

word salad

  • noun jumble of incoherent speech as sometimes heard in schizophrenia
WordNet

word sense

  • noun the accepted meaning of a word
    word meaning; acceptation.
WordNet

Word square

  • noun a puzzle where you fill a square grid with words reading the same down as across
    acrostic.
WordNet
  • a series of words so arranged that they can be read vertically and horizontally with like results.
Webster 1913

word stress

  • noun the distribution of stresses within a polysyllabic word
    word accent.
WordNet

word string

  • noun a linear sequence of words as spoken or written
    string of words; linguistic string.
WordNet

word structure

  • noun the admissible arrangement of sounds in words
    morphology; sound structure; syllable structure.
WordNet

word-blind

  • adjective of or relating to or symptomatic of alexia
    alexic.
WordNet

word-catcher

Word"-catch`er noun
Definitions
  1. One who cavils at words.
Webster 1913

word-of-mouth

  • adjective satellite expressed orally
    viva-voce.
    • a viva-voce report
    • the film had good word-of-mouth publicity
WordNet

word-painter

  • noun a writer of vivid or graphic descriptive power
WordNet

word-painting

  • noun a graphic or vivid verbal description
    picture; delineation; characterization; characterisation; word picture; depiction.
    • too often the narrative was interrupted by long word pictures
    • the author gives a depressing picture of life in Poland
    • the pamphlet contained brief characterizations of famous Vermonters
WordNet

word-perfect

  • adjective satellite correct to the last detail; especially being in or following the exact words
    letter-perfect.
    • a letter-perfect rendition of the soliloquy
    • she was word-perfect in her part
WordNet

word-splitting

  • noun making too fine distinctions of little importance
    hairsplitting.
    • they didn't take his hairsplitting seriously
WordNet

word-worship

  • noun the worship of words
    verbolatry; grammatolatry.
WordNet

words per minute

  • noun the rate at which words are produced (as in speaking or typing)
    wpm.
WordNet

written word

  • noun the written form of a word
    • while the spoken word stands for something, the written word stands for something that stands for something
    • a craftsman of the written word
WordNet

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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