Let us first consider what sort of object a word is when considered simply as a physical thing, apart from its meaning. To begin with, there are many instances of a word, namely all the different occasions when it is employed.
But in what has been said so far we have not even broached the question of the DEFINITION of a word, since "meaning" is clearly what distinguishes a word from other sets of similar movements, and "meaning" remains to be defined.
It is natural to think of the meaning of a word as something conventional.
Spoken and written words are, of course, not the only way of conveying meaning. A large part of one of Wundt's two vast volumes on language in his "Volkerpsychologie" is concerned with gesture-language.
When we ask what constitutes meaning, we are not asking what is the meaning of this or that particular word.
The meaning of one of these words differs very fundamentally from the meaning of one of any of our previous classes, being more abstract and logically simpler than any of them.
'Well, "SLITHY" means "lithe and slimy." "Lithe" is the same as "active." You see it's like a portmanteau--there are two meanings
packed up into one word.'
But see the consequence:--Many a man who is ignorant of human nature has friends who are bad friends, and in that case he ought to do harm to them; and he has good enemies whom he ought to benefit; but, if so, we shall be saying the very opposite of that which we affirmed to be the meaning
You fall into error occasionally, because you mistake the name of a person for the name of a thing, and waste a good deal of time trying to dig a meaning out of it.
I suppose that in all languages the similarities of look and sound between words which have no similarity in meaning are a fruitful source of perplexity to the foreigner.
This is its simple and EXACT meaning--that is to say, its restricted, its fettered meaning; but there are ways by which you can set it free, so that it can soar away, as on the wings of the morning, and never be at rest.
The various words used in building them are in the dictionary, but in a very scattered condition; so you can hunt the materials out, one by one, and get at the meaning at last, but it is a tedious and harassing business.
It was only the SOUND that helped him, not the meaning;  and so, at last, when he learned that the emphasis was not on the first syllable, his only stay and support was gone, and he faded away and died.
If you cannot tell your right side from your left, I fear that no words of mine can make my meaning
clear to you.
But he had not done either, but had gone on living, thinking, and feeling, and had even at that very time married, and had had many joys and had been happy, when he was not thinking of the meaning
of his life.