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

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 At Chinese universities, when a student reports a professor for political wrongdoing, the verb that’s used to describe this action is jubao. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 However, in certain clause types the verb actually comes first on the surface, as in Will the plan fail? Geoffrey K. Pullum, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 Like Google, Amazon, and other tech giants, Uber often seems less like a company and more like an institution, a fact of life — to the point that, also like Google, it's become a verb. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 26 Feb. 2022 By 2012, when Oxford Dictionaries named GIF the U.S. word of the year, the term was being used as a verb, not just as a noun. Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2022 Wilson’s exit is the latest in a parade of veteran ad-sales executives who have specialized in sports when streaming wasn’t really a verb. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 11 Mar. 2022 Several of us were recently involved in a back-and-forth exchange where one correspondent accidentally typed in the wrong tense of a verb. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 4 Feb. 2022 And could this past participle of the verb to do be considered an emotion? Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Jan. 2022 Here is where the global elite ‘summer’ like it’s a verb, wearing seersucker suits, drinking gin fizzes, and wondering what time their cranial sacral massage will be. Jennifer Leigh Parker, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near verb

veratrylidene

verb

verbal

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Statistics for verb

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Verb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verb. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for verb

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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