give the word

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give (someone) the word

To give an order, make a request, or expressly state a desire for someone to do something or undertake some task. We're ready to begin writing the report whenever you are, so just give us the word, and we'll get going. If the President gives the word, the military could begin airstrikes as early as tomorrow morning.
See also: give, word

give the word

Also, say the word. Give an order, tell or show when something is to be done, as in If you want us to move out, just give the word, or When you want the car, just say the word. The first expression, dating from about 1400, originally alluded to uttering a password in response to a sentinel's challenge. The second is even older, appearing in an early translation of the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus: "And God said the word to Abraham."
See also: give, word
References in classic literature ?
Then, turning round towards his troop, he gave the word of command, --
Then one of the officers rode up and gave the word for the men to mount, and in a second every man was in his saddle, and every horse stood expecting the touch of the rein, or the pressure of his rider's heels, all animated, all eager; but still we had been trained so well that, except by the champing of our bits, and the restive tossing of our heads from time to time, it could not be said that we stirred.
As soon as I was mounted, holding on to Dogger's belt, the supervisor gave the word, and the party struck out at a bouncing trot on the road to Dr.
Julian gave the word of command, addressing the admirably constructed automaton by the name of "James.
He gave the words of greeting, and the first regiment roared "Hurrah
1814: The Marquis de Sade, French aristocrat whose perverted lifestyle gave the word sadism to the language, died in an asylum.
Thirty minutes after the park superintendent gave the word, Placerita Canyon Nature Center's volunteers and staff members had loaded cars and vans with dozens of flying and crawling animals, ready to evacuate them from the advancing Cross Fire.
Spelling gave the word now to his ``MP'' cast and crew so they would have time to look for work during the just-heating-up pilot season, when networks produce sample shows for consideration as fall series.