by word of mouth


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Word \Word\, n. [AS. word; akin to OFries. & OS. word, D. woord,
   G. wort, Icel. or[eth], Sw. & Dan. ord, Goth. wa['u]rd,
   OPruss. wirds, Lith. vardas a name, L. verbum a word; or
   perhaps to Gr. "rh`twr an orator. Cf. Verb.]
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   1. The spoken sign of a conception or an idea; an articulate
      or vocal sound, or a combination of articulate and vocal
      sounds, uttered by the human voice, and by custom
      expressing an idea or ideas; a single component part of
      human speech or language; a constituent part of a
      sentence; a term; a vocable. "A glutton of words." --Piers
      Plowman.
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            You cram these words into mine ears, against
            The stomach of my sense.              --Shak.
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            Amongst men who confound their ideas with words,
            there must be endless disputes.       --Locke.
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   2. Hence, the written or printed character, or combination of
      characters, expressing such a term; as, the words on a
      page.
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   3. pl. Talk; discourse; speech; language.
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            Why should calamity be full of words? --Shak.
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            Be thy words severe;
            Sharp as he merits, but the sword forbear. --Dryden.
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   4. Account; tidings; message; communication; information; --
      used only in the singular.
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            I pray you . . . bring me word thither
            How the world goes.                   --Shak.
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   5. Signal; order; command; direction.
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            Give the word through.                --Shak.
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   6. Language considered as implying the faith or authority of
      the person who utters it; statement; affirmation;
      declaration; promise.
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            Obey thy parents; keep thy word justly. --Shak.
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            I know you brave, and take you at your word.
                                                  --Dryden.
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            I desire not the reader should take my word.
                                                  --Dryden.
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   7. pl. Verbal contention; dispute.
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            Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me.
                                                  --Shak.
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   8. A brief remark or observation; an expression; a phrase,
      clause, or short sentence.
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            All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this;
            Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. --Gal. v.
                                                  14.
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            She said; but at the happy word "he lives,"
            My father stooped, re-fathered, o'er my wound.
                                                  --Tennyson.
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            There is only one other point on which I offer a
            word of remark.                       --Dickens.
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   By word of mouth, orally; by actual speaking. --Boyle.

   Compound word. See under Compound, a.

   Good word, commendation; favorable account. "And gave the
      harmless fellow a good word." --Pope.

   In a word, briefly; to sum up.

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

   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."

   The word, or 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.

   To eat one's words, to retract what has been said.

   To have the words for, to speak for; to act as spokesman.
      [Obs.] "Our host hadde the wordes for us all." --Chaucer.

   Word blindness (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.

   Word deafness (Physiol.), inability to understand spoken
      words, though the person affected may hear them and other
      sounds, and hence is not deaf.

   Word dumbness (Physiol.), inability to express ideas in
      verbal language, though the power of speech is unimpaired.
      

   Word for word, in the exact words; verbatim; literally;
      exactly; as, to repeat anything word for word.

   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.

   Word picture, an accurate and vivid description, which
      presents an object clearly to the mind, as if in a
      picture.

   Word square, a series of words so arranged that they can be
      read vertically and horizontally with like results.
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   Note:
         H E A R T
         E M B E R
         A B U S E
         R E S I N
         T R E N T
         (A word square)

   Syn: See Term.
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