verb

noun
\ ˈvərb How to pronounce verb (audio) \

Definition of verb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a word that characteristically is the grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of being, that in various languages is inflected for agreement with the subject, for tense, for voice, for mood, or for aspect, and that typically has rather full descriptive meaning and characterizing quality but is sometimes nearly devoid of these especially when used as an auxiliary or linking verb

verb

verb
verbed; verbing

Definition of verb (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to use (a word and especially a noun) as a verb : to make (a word) into a verb A television announcer in Vero Beach, Fla., spoke of a promise "to upkeep the beach," thus verbing a word that had been in use as an honest noun since 1884.— James Kilpatrick But it is by no means unusual for a noun to be verbed.— Theodore M. Bernstein

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Other Words from verb

Noun

verbless \ ˈvərb-​ləs How to pronounce verb (audio) \ adjective

What is a verb?

Verbs are words that show an action (sing), occurrence (develop), or state of being (exist). Almost every sentence requires a verb. The basic form of a verb is known as its infinitive. The forms call, love, break, and go are all infinitives.

Almost all verbs have two other important forms called participles. Participles are forms that are used to create several verb tenses (forms that are used to show when an action happened); they can also be used as adjectives. The present participle always ends in -ing: calling, loving, breaking, going. (There is also a kind of noun, called a gerund, that is identical in form to the present participle form of a verb.) The past participle usually ends in -ed, but many past participles have irregular endings: called, loved, broken, gone.

The verb's past tense usually has the same -ed form as the past participle. For many verbs, however, the past tense is irregular. An irregular past tense is not always identical to an irregular past participle: called, loved, broke, went.

The two main kinds of verbs, transitive verbs and intransitive verbs, are discussed at the entries for transitive and intransitive.

Examples of verb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In time, Kodaking became a verb, as natural as Instagramming. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 16 June 2021 In general, using the F-word twice, or once as a verb, turns a PG-13 movie into an R. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, 26 May 2021 To love, synonymous with to be, a defective verb that only knows the present infinitive. Claudio Magris, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 Law professor Kimberle Crenshaw, one of CRT's progenitors, writes that the theory itself is a verb rather than a noun. Sam Dorman, Fox News, 14 May 2021 Since the film, her name has become a household word—even a verb. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 10 May 2021 The Latin verb intelligere means to comprehend or perceive. Suzanne Simard, Wired, 7 May 2021 Flimflam felt better in the mouth than swindle, and rubberneck was a more agreeable verb than crane. Ralph Keyes, Time, 1 Apr. 2021 The second is is the verb for the pronoun who, whose antecedent in this sentence is people. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Mar. 2021

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

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First Known Use of verb

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for verb

Noun

Middle English verbe, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin verbum "word, verb" — more at word entry 1

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Time Traveler for verb

Time Traveler

The first known use of verb was in the 14th century

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Statistics for verb

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Verb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verb. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for verb

verb

noun

English Language Learners Definition of verb

grammar : a word (such as jump, think, happen, or exist) that is usually one of the main parts of a sentence and that expresses an action, an occurrence, or a state of being

verb

noun
\ ˈvərb How to pronounce verb (audio) \

Kids Definition of verb

: a word that expresses an act, occurrence, or state of being

More from Merriam-Webster on verb

Nglish: Translation of verb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of verb for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about verb

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