verb

1 of 2

noun

: 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
verbless adjective

verb

2 of 2

verb

verbed; verbing

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

Did you know?

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
That was such a seismic shift in the game, the song’s title became a verb that’s still used 20-something years later. Angel Diaz, Billboard, 14 May 2024 But Cupid, coming from the Latin verb cupere meaning desire, love or lust, was more a depiction of internal contradictions, according to Christensen. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 10 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for verb 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'verb.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1928, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near verb

Cite this Entry

“Verb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verb. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

verb

noun
: a word that is usually the grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence, or state of being and that in various languages is inflected (as for agreement with the subject or for tense)

More from Merriam-Webster on verb

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