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 \ ˈvər-​bləs How to pronounce verbless (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

Instead, the word can only be described by playing cards that contain nouns, verbs, adjectives, and relations. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Eight great board games we played at PAX Unplugged," 8 Dec. 2018 Long before Google became a verb, Yahoo was the premier internet search engine. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Google turns 20: how an internet search engine reshaped the world," 5 Sep. 2018 Brittany Allen | Longreads | July 2018 | 7 minutes (1,809 words) Different writers call for different verbs. Brittany Allen, Longreads, "Getting Tricked by Helen DeWitt," 9 July 2018 In part because ‘69’ can serve a noun, verb, or adjective, the exhibition is appropriately all-encompassing. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Exclusive: 69’s Anonymous Designer on the Brand’s Retrospective at MOCA," 20 July 2018 More impressive were the verbs; more impressive still was the language of mood and emotion and spatial relations — more and sad and in and stupid and please and hurry and out. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Koko the Gorilla Wasn't Human, But She Taught Us So Much About Ourselves," 21 June 2018 Much like Uber, the ride-sharing service, Venmo became ubiquitous and morphed into a verb. Telis Demos, WSJ, "You Accidentally Sent $149 to a Stranger on Venmo? Good Luck Getting It Back," 12 July 2018 The device produces vapor in a variety of fruit and mint flavors, and is so well-known that students have turned Juul into a verb, Sward added. Dennis Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "E-cigarettes disguised as USB drives could be getting more teens hooked on nicotine," 12 Apr. 2018 More recently, the usage pattern has shifted yet again, with the mother becoming the subject of the verb. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "Britain’s Very Old Way of Welcoming a New Baby Royal," 26 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for verb

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Time Traveler for verb

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on verb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with verb

Spanish Central: Translation of verb

Nglish: Translation of verb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of verb for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about verb

Comments on verb

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