dic tion ar y n. A book containing the words of a language arranged alphabetically usu. with their syllabication, pronunciation, definition and etymology.
(Three minutes off task and counting. Of course now the student will have to look up syllabication, pronunciation, and etymology. Nine more minutes off task.)
syl lab i cate v.t. SYLLABIFY
syl lab i fy v.t. To form or divide into syllables.
(At this point we will assume that they know syllables)
pro nun ci a tion n. The act or manner of pronouncing words.
e ty mol o gy n. The branch of linguistics dealing with the origin and development of words, prefexes, etc.
lin guis tics n. The science of language, its origin, structure, modifications, etc., including phonetics, phonemics, morphology, syntax, and semantics.
(Now frustration has set in and the student is likely to give up rather than look up the meaning of phonetics, phonemics, morphology, syntax, and semantics.)
The next time a student asks what a word means just teach them.