pre·​ver·​bal | \ (ˌ)prē-ˈvər-bəl How to pronounce preverbal (audio) \

Definition of preverbal

1 : occurring before the verb
2 : having not yet acquired the faculty of speech a preverbal child

Examples of preverbal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "F&S Classics: The Lion Dogs," 30 Dec. 2020 Words alone are unlikely to have much impact on these deeper, preverbal regions. Matthew Green, Newsweek, "A Radical New Therapy Could Treat the 'Untreatable' Victims of Trauma," 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, "Legendary Comics Writer Alan Moore on Superheroes, The League, and Making Magic," 23 Feb. 2009

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preverbal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of preverbal

1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preverbal

Time Traveler for preverbal

Time Traveler

The first known use of preverbal was in 1921

See more words from the same year

Statistics for preverbal

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preverbal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

Comments on preverbal

What made you want to look up preverbal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!