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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 ?
But tall tales on this scale are a mortal sin - and say more about the bishop's character than a million word-perfect masses ever could.
In fairness to the student crowd, they were prepared to enjoy it regardless, their excitement, enthusiasm and word-perfect singing lifting the venue out of what could have been a very dull night.
Yet Wishee Washee was the undoubted kids' favourite and deservedly so, providing a word-perfect performance (unlike some of the cast) and proving to be a talented ad-libber with an easygoing manner with the kids.
As Bob couldn't attend theceremony, Mike Doran,councilpress officer,picked up the honour in his stead and wowed the crowd with a word-perfect impersonation.
The young man at the Europcar desk, who arranged our car hire with brisk efficiency and in word-perfect English, could easily step into the shoes of any chief executive of one of our major plcs.
The Wheatsheaf Players gave a word-perfect performance, with the batty Lucy (Irene Sadler) and sculptress Henrietta (Heather Street) particularly shining.
McNabb ended up in the centre of the room, strumming a battery-powered guitar as the faithful serenaded him, word-perfect, with the lyrics to hallmark 'Love Is A Wonderful Colour'.
The next day, in his word-perfect match report, he referenced what I'd told him, using the words, "the feeling among those in the know on Merseyside is".
The usually word-perfect Nicole Kidman let slip a secret as she waved to fans on the red carpet.
Frontman Simon Fowler looked genuinely chuffed with the reaction and a bit emotional when everyone joined in with a word-perfect Day We Caught the Train.
By the time he launched into Come Undone a word-perfect Murrayfield Stadium joined in his heartfelt lament about the pitfalls of fame.