In language, a word is the smallest element that may be uttered in isolation with semantic or pragmatic content (with literal or practical meaning). This contrasts with a morpheme, which is the smallest unit of meaning but will not necessarily stand on its own. A word may consist of a single morpheme (for example: oh!, rock, red, quick, run, expect), or several (rocks, redness, quickly, running, unexpected), whereas a morpheme may not be able to stand on its own as a word (in the words just mentioned, these are -s, -ness, -ly, -ing, un-, -ed). A complex word will typically include a root and one or more affixes (rock-s, red-ness, quick-ly, run-ning, un-expect-ed), or more than one root in a compound (black-board, rat-race). Words can be put together to build larger elements of language, such as phrases (a red rock), clauses (I threw a rock), and sentences (He threw a rock too but he missed).
Words are merely Symbols which represents the intended meaning behined, which can be known from the context. The term word may refer to a spoken word or to a written word, or sometimes to the abstract concept behind either. Spoken words are made up of units of sound called phonemes, and written words of symbols called graphemes, such as the letters of the English alphabet.
Famous quotes containing the words rock and/or word:
“When we were at school we were taught to sing the songs of the Europeans. How many of us were taught the songs of the Wanyamwezi or of the Wahehe? Many of us have learnt to dance the rumba, or the cha cha, to rock and roll and to twist and even to dance the waltz and foxtrot. But how many of us can dance, or have even heard of the gombe sugu, the mangala, nyangumumi, kiduo, or lele mama?”
—Julius K. Nyerere (b. 1922)
“Until recently the word fascist was considered shameful. Fortunately, that period has passed. In fact, there is now a reassessment of how much grandpa Benito did for Italy.”
—Alessandra Mussolini, Italian actor, politician, and medical student. As quoted in Newsweek magazine, p. 19 (February 17, 1992)