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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 ?
At first I preferred comprehension, but then developed a love of precis, taking words out of a piece to make it more succinct.
The 21 steps focus on "taking words out," presenting several before/after examples with explanations of why deletion has a desired effect.
There are no insertions of unusual vocabulary with no purpose but to lend a touch of the exotic; instead, Carey renders his images in plain language that gives the reader the option of two trains of thought -- the express: taking words at face value and absorbing Carey's scenes quickly, waiting till the end, its destination, to pause and consider the deeper meaning; or the local: stopping intermittently to ponder and appreciate lines like these, about looking out a train window, as they happen:
** A found poem is created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes
Taking words directly from those involved with the planning of the hospital, the design team decided that the new building and entry should be celebrated as the "gateway to healing" for the state of Arkansas.
He also accused me of "peddling misinformation" and taking words and phrases out of context.
"When I first started out, I had a huge interest in John Cooper Clarke and loved the idea of taking words on to the stage.