Definition of verb
: 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
verblessplay \ˈvər-bləs\ adjective
Recent Examples of verb from the Web
Uber, not Lyft, became the default verb in ride-sharing lingo.
Eventually, the Bowdler name got turned into a verb denoting censorship.
As prominent tech stocks plunged, getting FANGed became a front-page verb — synthesizing simultaneous swoons from Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.
Republicans point to the Democrats blocking Robert Bork (producing the verb borking), using sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas, undermining George W. Bush after the recount and now leading the Trump resistance.
The treatment, quickly becoming a Hollywood obsession, uses 4-D technology to smooth, tighten, and plump—among other beauty-enhancing verbs.
Her book on danshari became an instant bestseller in Japan, and the concept has now become a verb in its own right.
Much of the anguish and the elation in our lives begins with a glance, a kiss and then—a lifelong struggle to make sense of the verb to love.
Unrelated to any other language, its grammar is complex and its structure polysynthetic; a verb conveys not just action but a wealth of other information.
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.
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.
VERB Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of verb for English Language Learners
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 Defined for Kids
Definition of verb for Students
: a word that expresses an act, occurrence, or state of being
Word Root of verb
The Latin word verbum, meaning “word,” gives us the root verb. Words from the Latin verbum have something to do with words. A verb is a word that shows action. An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb. A proverb, or short saying containing a wise thought, is made up of a few well-chosen words. Anything verbal is made up of spoken words.
Seen and Heard
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