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
verbless adjective


2 of 2


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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
It’s meant to be at the core of the business, ubiquitous and essential to all, repeating the same socioeconomic miracle that turned Google into a verb. Katherine Cross, WIRED, 17 Mar. 2023 Zoom became a verb. Steve Denning, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2023 None this existed before David Cameron pledged to hold a simple in/out referendum on the noun/verb/abbrev. known as Brexit in 2015. William Booth, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2023 Fashion, after all, is a verb! Rachel Tashjian, Harper's BAZAAR, 3 Feb. 2023 Love is a verb. Globe Columnist,, 13 Jan. 2023 Google is lowercase as a verb. WSJ, 15 Dec. 2022 TikTok, where the Lopezes have posted together, had something to do with their reunion, and Mayan’s character — also called Mayan, as George is called George — also TikToks, if that’s the verb. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2022 But Spanish speakers from four centuries ago might have recognized the unusual verb conjugations — if not the unorthodox pronunciations and words drawn from English and languages indigenous to North America. Simon Romero Desiree Rios, New York Times, 9 Apr. 2023 See More

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



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!