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Motivated by a study of similar problems stated for factors of words, we study forbidden subwords of a language or a word. A procedure for obtaining the set of all words avoiding a given set of subwords is presented. On the other hand, an algorithm for computing the set of minimal forbidden subwords for a word is given. The case of a two-letter alphabet appears to be particularly interesting and it is considered separately.doi:10.1016/j.ipl.2004.09.001 fatcat:w64ahaymxvexza65xbon3ovsfy