Definition of word-for-word

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: being in or following the exact words : verbatim a word-for-word translation

word for word


Definition of word for word (Entry 2 of 2)

: in the exact words : verbatim

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Synonyms & Antonyms for word-for-word

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of word-for-word in a Sentence

Adverb you don't have to record the professor's comments word for word in your notes
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The account appeared again almost word for word in The Innocents Abroad, the 1869 book that made Twain famous. John J. Miller, National Review, "Mark Twain in the Time of Cholera," 16 Apr. 2020 God Save This Honorable Court,’’ included numerous passages taken without attribution from Mr. Abraham’s 1974 edition of ‘‘Justices & Presidents’’ — sometimes word for word. Matt Schudel, BostonGlobe.com, "Henry J. Abraham, scholar of Supreme Court history, at 98," 5 Mar. 2020 Paired with Jennifer Ehle as a playful, funny Lizzie Bennet, the series has several hours to tell Austen's long story, and uses many verbatim passages from her most famous novel into the script word for word. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Jane Austen TV and film adaptations, from 'Clueless' to 'Sanditon'," 12 Jan. 2020 This echoed, almost word for word, Beijing’s condemnation of the United States’ decision to evacuate its nationals and advise against all travel to China. Washington Post, "China’s conspicuously absent leader reemerges — for an audience with a friendly autocrat," 5 Feb. 2020 Just after Pelosi’s announcement, for example, there were two versions of what was otherwise the same fundraising message, nearly word for word. Chris Wilson, Time, "The Trump Campaign Has Raised Millions Off Impeachment — And Facebook Is One of Its Most Powerful Tools," 5 Dec. 2019 Already quoting Rockne speeches word for word as a child, Rudy knows Fighting Irish history from front to back, sometimes even annoying family and bar patrons with the offhand knowledge that clearly means more to him. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "13 reasons why ‘Rudy’ is the best college football movie of all time," 26 Dec. 2019 No proposal coming from a presidential candidate is going to be adopted word for word, line by line, by Congress. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Trump campaign responds to Twitter ban on political ads," 31 Oct. 2019 The falsehood gained more than 10,000 retweets Tuesday, and the same claim was also repeated word for word by other accounts. Toluse Olorunnipa, Anchorage Daily News, "Competing messages over Trump impeachment inquiry reflect tensions in GOP," 30 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'word-for-word.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of word-for-word


circa 1611, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for word-for-word

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The first known use of word-for-word was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Word-for-word.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/word-for-word. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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