I think you are somewhat correct, A word is a word, it is not a number nor anything else that is not relevant, it is a part of language used to describe something. A word is a simple concept, another constructed concept of our thoughts.
Words are brought together to construct sentences. Sentences are uttered to express propositions.
The ubiquitous philosophical example is: The cat is on the mat.
I can use words to express this proposition. Or I could draw a picture. The first words ever expressed may have been hieroglyphics. There's a theory of the origin of language that picto-grams preceded spoken language. See Chris Stringer.
But we don't know. What we know for sure is that concepts somehow transcend any particular medium of expression..