in so many words


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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, but my mom told my sister in so many words that her behavior was unacceptable.
See also: many, word
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

(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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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