Word (n.) - What is a word?
A string of sounds or symbols that are used to convey a meaning.
History & Etymology
When I looked up the origin of the word word in the Oxford English Dictionary I was confronted by a long list of cognates, a cognate is a word that comes from the same origin, and they all come from the Proto-Indo-European verb were- meaning to say, speak, or utter.
A few examples of these cognates are Old Germanic wort, Old Frisian word, Old Danish orth, Danish ord, and possibly the Sanskrit vrata which means to command.
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