pre·​ver·​bal (ˌ)prē-ˈvər-bəl How to pronounce preverbal (audio)
: occurring before the verb
: having not yet acquired the faculty of speech
a preverbal child

Examples of preverbal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Celina Celina played in the 4A state semifinals last season and ran into the preverbal buzz saw that was eventual champ Sinton. Dallas News, 17 Feb. 2023 In the late 1970s cognitive scientists C. R. Gallistel and Rochel Gelman argued that children learn to count by mapping the number words in their language onto an innate system of preverbal counting that humans share with many other animals. Jacob Beck, Scientific American, 14 Feb. 2023 This suggests that preverbal memories are lost if they are not translated into language. Jeanne Shinskey, CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 The almost mournful hysteria of the pack echoes off the canyon walls, bypasses the rational brain, and reaches into something deeper, some preverbal place where the laws of men no longer obtain. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, 30 Dec. 2020 Words alone are unlikely to have much impact on these deeper, preverbal regions. Matthew Green, Newsweek, 23 Mar. 2017 The unit of currency for our right brain, conversely, would be the image, because the right brain is preverbal. Adam Rogers, WIRED, 23 Feb. 2009 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preverbal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of preverbal was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near preverbal

Cite this Entry

“Preverbal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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