take (one) at (one's) word(redirected from take them at their 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.
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.
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. 
take someone at their wordinterpret a person's words literally or exactly, especially by believing them or doing as they suggest.
take somebody at their ˈwordbelieve 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.
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.