It's a sudden random question I have but I distinctly remember there being another phrase, probably of another language, which means exactly the same as "word for word". What is it?

  • 3
    Word for word: In exactly the same words; verbatim.
    – user66974
    Nov 4, 2014 at 10:54
  • 2
    you literally want the literal meaning of literally
    – jk.
    Nov 5, 2014 at 10:08
  • 2
    I ordinarily don't like using the "general reference" close reason, but it really does apply here. See Merriam-Webster's definition of "word for word", for example. People often don't realize that dictionaries contain many multi-word terms, not just single words.
    – Marthaª
    Nov 5, 2014 at 19:00

3 Answers 3


Verbatim: (from TFD)

  • using exactly the same words; corresponding word for word: a verbatim report of the conversation.

or literally:

  • in a literal manner; word for word: translated the Greek passage literally.
  • 2
    Thanks! This was the exact word I'm looking for. I'd somehow forgotten it.
    – Chan Khan
    Nov 4, 2014 at 11:29

As Joshn61 said, the most common synonym is simply Verbatim.

In many contexts you could also replace it with exactly. For example:

The text was copied word for word.
The text was copied verbatim.
The text was copied exactly.

They all mean the same thing.


And I quote Is quite a common way to say it when retelling what someone has said:

You said to me last week, and I quote, "I will never drink again"

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