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noun ver·biage \ˈvər-bē-ij also -bij\

Simple Definition of verbiage

  • : speech or writing that contains too many words or that uses words that are more difficult than necessary

Full Definition of verbiage

  1. 1 :  a profusion of words usually of little or obscure content <such a tangled maze of evasive verbiage as a typical party platform — Marcia Davenport>

  2. 2 :  manner of expressing oneself in words :  diction <sportswriters guarded their verbiage so jealously — R. A. Sokolov>

Examples of verbiage

  1. NOT the least of the many trials inflicted upon the Boston Red Sox has been a torrent of verbiage. Surely no team in recent memory has been so scrutinized, complained about and then elegized. —Charles McGrath, New York Times Book Review, 13 Aug. 2006

  2. Fashionable courtiers in the Renaissance adopted the doublet. … The cotton padding of this jacket, called bombast (the source of the term for inflated verbiage), was gradually increased to give courtiers the pumped-up look. —John Tierney, New York Times, 21 Jan. 1999

  3. To find the height of arcane verbiage look no farther than Rule 10 of the rules governing Major League Baseball, in what is known as the Blue Book. The corresponding entry explains the waivers system—the procedures that pertain to certain player transactions—in a way that makes the Magna Carta look like part of the Jackie Collins oeuvre. —Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated, 25 Aug. 1997

  4. Sure, some contract verbiage is so objectionable, it can be considered against public policy; in fact, the most arduous hold-harmless clauses would probably be thrown out of court. —Leon H. Ciesla, Plane & Pilot, March 1995

  5. Is word processing truly the wonder it seems or will it turn out to be but a mere exercise in verbose verbiage? —Erik Sandberg-Diment, New York Times, 26 June 1984

  6. The editor removed some of the excess verbiage from the article.

  7. <teachers loathe the verbiage that students resort to in order to pad a paper>

Origin of verbiage

French, from Middle French verbier to chatter, alteration of Old French verboier, verbloier, from Old French (Picard dialect) werbler to trill — more at warble

First Known Use: circa 1721

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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