verb

noun
\ˈvərb \

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 \ 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

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 To be a citizen, in that framing of things, is to embrace the verb as well as the noun. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "To Be a Good Citizen, First Pay Attention," 27 June 2018 With his marker and whiteboard in hand, Guy breaks down complex verbs, colloquial expressions and witty slang while teaching the history of this bustling and dynamic neighborhood. Joe Yudin, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Israel," 5 Oct. 2016 There’s the feverish energy of the titular verb, which repeats throughout the track’s propulsive, urgent chorus. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "BTS' 50 Best Songs: Critics' Picks," 12 June 2018 The go-to drink, which is technically a style, is possibly the only cocktail with a name that’s a verb. Liza Weisstuch, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s time to Smash N’ Dash," 31 May 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

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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
\ˈvərb \

Kids Definition of verb

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

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Comments on verb

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to express warning or disapproval

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