in so/as many words

in so many words

1. In the exact words stated. In so many words, he told me I would be fired if it ever happened again.
2. Explicitly or directly. I won't repeat what she said, with my mom told my sister in so many words that her behavior was unacceptable.
See also: many, word

in so many words

Fig. exactly; explicitly; in plain, clear language. I told her in so many words to leave me alone. He said yes, but not in so many words.
See also: many, word

in so many words

In those precise words; also, plainly, directly. For example, He didn't tell me in so many words, but I understood that he planned to apply, or, as Charles Dickens put it in Sketches by "Boz" (1836): "That the Lord Mayor had threatened in so many words to pull down the London Bridge." [Late 1600s]
See also: many, word

(not) in so/as many ˈwords

(not) in exactly the same words that somebody says were used: Did he actually say in so many words that there was no hope of a cure?
See also: many, word

in so many words

1. In precisely those words; exactly: hinted at impending indictments but did not say it in so many words.
2. Speaking candidly and straightforwardly: In so many words, the weather has been beastly.
See also: many, word