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adverb ver·ba·tim \(ˌ)vər-ˈbā-təm\

Definition of verbatim

  1. :  in the exact words :  word for word <quoted the speech verbatim>

Examples of verbatim in a sentence

  1. The New York Times reported that recent posts lambasting legislation against Wal-Mart came verbatim from the retailer's p.r. firm. —Sally B. Donnelly et al., Time, 20 Mar. 2006

  2. Around his eleventh year he compiled a sort of commonplace book in which he transcribed passages from his reading. … But these entries aren't rendered verbatim: [Arthur] Rimbaud expands and contracts his sources, plays with lines, exhibiting a very early, very organic sort of literary criticism. —Wyatt Mason, Harper's, October 2002

  3. “My own anxieties about mortality are tempered just slightly,” says [Ken] Burns (quoting, almost verbatim, his introduction to “Jazz's” companion coffee-table book), “by the notion that if we continue to try hard, we'll have a chance to hear Louis blow Gabriel out of the clouds.” —David Gates, Newsweek, 8 Jan. 2001

  4. Some passages in the book are taken verbatim from the blog … —Publishers Weekly, 13 June 2005

  5. <you can't just copy the encyclopedia article verbatim for your report—that's plagiarism>

Did You Know?

Latin has a phrase for "exactly as written": "verbatim ac litteratim," which literally means "word for word and letter for letter." Like the "verbatim" in that Latin phrase, the English verbatim means "word for word." As you may have noticed, there's a "verb" in "verbatim" - and that's no mere coincidence. Both "verb" and "verbatim" are derived from the Latin word for "word," which is "verbum." Other common English words that share this root include "adverb," "proverb," and "verbose." Even the word word itself is related. "Verbatim" can also be an adjective meaning "being in or following the exact words" (as in "a verbatim report") and a rarer noun referring to an account, translation, or report that follows the original word for word.

Origin and Etymology of verbatim

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin verbum word

First Known Use: 15th century



adjective ver·ba·tim \(ˌ)vər-ˈbā-təm\

Simple Definition of verbatim

  • : in exactly the same words

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of verbatim

  1. :  being in or following the exact words :  word-for-word <a verbatim report of the meeting>

Examples of verbatim in a sentence

  1. Was Coleridge's “Table Talk,” as recorded by his circle, his words or theirs—or a conflation of both? And what about Boswell, the most celebrated auditor of them all, who composed a masterpiece of English literature out of the supposedly verbatim speech of Samuel Johnson? Did Johnson begin his every declaration with an orotund “Sir?” —James Atlas, New York Times Magazine, 23 June 1991

  2. Some readers may unfortunately be made mistrustful of the authors' findings by their attempts to enliven the book with unverifiable—if inconsequential—details about the settings of events and by occasionally presenting unrecorded conversations of four decades ago in the form of verbatim quotations. —Henry Ashby Turner, New York Times Book Review, 22 June 1986

Origin and Etymology of verbatim

(see 1verbatim)

First Known Use: 1613

Seen and Heard

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