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The meaning and origin of the expression: Word for word

Word for word

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Word for word'?

A precise following of another's words, that is, verbatim, either in spoken repetition of those words or in a close study of a text.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Word for word'?

The 'close study' meaning of the expression does back to at least 1385 when Chaucer used it in The Legend of Dido, a poem from Legend of Good Women:

I could folwe [follow] word for word Virgile.

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