Etymology
Advertisement

word (n.)

Old English word "speech, talk, utterance, sentence, statement, news, report, word," from Proto-Germanic *wurda- (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian word, Dutch woord, Old High German, German wort, Old Norse orð, Gothic waurd), from PIE *were- (3) "speak, say" (see verb).

The meaning "promise" was in Old English, as was the theological sense. In the plural, the meaning "verbal altercation" (as in have words with someone) dates from mid-15c. Word-processor first recorded 1971; word-processing is from 1972; word-wrap is from 1977. A word to the wise is from Latin phrase verbum sapienti satis est "a word to the wise is enough." Word-for-word "in the exact word or terms" is late 14c. Word of mouth "spoken words, oral communication" (as distinguished from written words) is by 1550s.

It is dangerous to leave written that which is badly written. A chance word, upon paper, may destroy the world. Watch carefully and erase, while the power is still yours, I say to myself, for all that is put down, once it escapes, may rot its way into a thousand minds, the corn become a black smut, and all libraries, of necessity, be burned to the ground as a consequence. [William Carlos Williams, "Paterson"]

Origin and meaning of word

word (v.)

c. 1200, "to utter;" 1610s, "put into words," from word (n.). Related: Worded; wording.

Origin and meaning of word

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of word
1
word (n.)
a unit of language that native speakers can identify;
words are the blocks from which sentences are made
he hardly said ten words all morning
word (n.)
a brief statement;
he didn't say a word about it
word (n.)
information about recent and important events;
Synonyms: news / intelligence / tidings
word (n.)
a verbal command for action;
when I give the word, charge!
word (n.)
an exchange of views on some topic;
we had a word or two about it
word (n.)
a promise;
he gave his word
Synonyms: parole / word of honor
word (n.)
a string of bits stored in computer memory;
large computers use words up to 64 bits long
word (n.)
a secret word or phrase known only to a restricted group;
2
word (v.)
put into words or an expression;
Synonyms: give voice / formulate / phrase / articulate
3
Word (n.)
the divine word of God; the second person in the Trinity (incarnate in Jesus);
Synonyms: Son / Logos
Word (n.)
the sacred writings of the Christian religions;
Synonyms: Bible / Christian Bible / Book / Good Book / Holy Scripture / Holy Writ / Scripture / Word of God
From wordnet.princeton.edu