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WORD, construction. One or more syllables which when united convey an idea a single part of speech.
     2. Words are to be understood in a proper or figurative sense, and they are used both ways in law. They are also used in a technical sense. It is a general rule that contracts and wills shall be construed as the parties understood them; every person, however, is presumed to understand the force of the words be uses, and therefore technical words must be taken according to their legal import, even in wills, unless the testator manifests a clear intention to the contrary. 1 Bro. C. C. 33; 3 Bro. C. C. 234; 5 Ves. 401 8 Ves. 306.
     3. Every one is required to use words in the sense they are generally understood, for, as speech has been given to man to be a sign of his thoughts, for the purpose of communicating them to others, he is bound in treating with them, to use such words or signs in the sense sanctioned by usage, that is, in the sense in which they themselves understand them, or else he deceives them. Heinnec. Praelect. in Puffendorff, lib. 1, cap. 17, Sec. 2 Heinnec. de Jure Nat. lib. 1, Sec. 197; Wolff, lust. Jur. Nat. Sec. 7981.
     4. Formerly, indeed, in cases of slander, the defamatory words received the mildest interpretation of which they were susceptible, and some ludicrous decisions were the consequence. It was gravely decided, that to say of a merchant, "he is a base broken rascal, has broken twice, and I will make him break a third time," that no action could be maintained, because it might be intended that he had a hernia: ne poet dar porter action, car poet estre intend de burstness de belly. Latch, 104. But now they are understood in their usual signification. Comb. 37; Ham. N. P. 282. Vide Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.; Construction; Interpretation.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
We learn nothing about the person being interviewed - as they can hardly get a word in edgeways, and the questions are trivial beyond belief - but we learn plenty about what a high opinion the interviewer has of themselves.
There's been a lot of talk about the four-pundit strategy employed by the channel at this World Cup, making for such a congested studio that even Ian Wright has struggled to get a word in edgeways.
It's a question of who will get a word in edgeways when Paul O'Grady plonks himself on Alan's sofa to talk about his new chat show.
She flung her arms around him saying he lit up the studio and barely let Simon get a word in edgeways."
GIRLS Aloud star Sarah Harding's fianc had to tell her to be quiet before he could get a word in edgeways and ask her to marry him.
He admits he was rubbish when he first started interviewing stars, as he just tried to be funny and didn't let them get a word in edgeways. Now he actually listens to their answers and often gets them to open up - his intelligent debate in the last series with Matthew Kelly made fascinating viewing.

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