take (one) at (one's) word

take (one) at (one's) word

To accept what one says without further verifying or investigating. Why some people take that pundit at his word is beyond me. He clearly has an ulterior motive. You're right to be wary, but, in this case, I think we can take John at his word. He's just trying to help.
See also: take, word
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

take one at one's word

to believe what someone says and act accordingly. She told me to go jump in the lake, and I took her at her word. You shouldn't take her at her word. She frequently says things she doesn't really mean.
See also: one, take, word
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

take someone at his or her word

Also, take someone's word for. Accept what someone says on trust, as in Since he said he'd agree to any of my ideas, I'll take him at his word, or She said she wanted to help out and I took her word for it. This idiom appeared in Miles Coverdale's translation of the Bible: "He said ... he is my brother. And the men took him shortly at his word" (I Kings 22:33). It is still so used. [1535]
See also: someone, take, 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.

take someone at their word

interpret a person's words literally or exactly, especially by believing them or doing as they suggest.
See also: someone, take, word
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take somebody at their ˈword

believe exactly what somebody says or promises: She said I could go and stay with her in Paris whenever I wanted, so I took her at her word.
See also: somebody, take, word
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take at (someone's) word

To be convinced of another's sincerity and act in accord with his or her statement: We took them at their word that the job would be done on time.
See also: take, 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.

take (someone) at his/her word, to

To believe someone, to regard someone as trustworthy. This locution dates from the sixteenth century, appearing in such sources as Miles Coverdale’s translation of the Bible (1535) and several of Shakespeare’s plays (e.g., “I take thee at thy word,” Romeo and Juliet, 2.2). It also is part of an amusing proverb quoted in David Ferguson’s Scottish Proverbs (1595) and numerous later collections: “Take a man by his word, and a cow by her horne.”
See also: take, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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