1

verbal

adjective ver·bal \ ˈvər-bəl \
Updated on: 17 Dec 2017

Definition of verbal

1 a : of, relating to, or consisting of words
  • verbal instructions
b : of, relating to, or involving words rather than meaning or substance
  • a consistency that is merely verbal and scholastic
  • —B. N. Cardozo
c : consisting of or using words only and not involving action
  • verbal abuse
2 : of, relating to, or formed from a verb
  • a verbal adjective
3 : spoken rather than written
  • a verbal contract
4 : verbatim, word-for-word
  • a verbal translation
5 : of or relating to facility in the use and comprehension of words
  • verbal aptitude

verbally

play \ˈvər-bə-lē\ adverb

Examples of verbal in a Sentence

  1. He scored well on the verbal section of the test.

  2. They had a verbal exchange.

  3. a verbal agreement to finish the work

  4. We gave only verbal instructions.

Recent Examples of verbal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'verbal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of verbal

Middle English verbale, borrowed from Late Latin verbālis, from Latin verbum "word, verb" + -ālis 1-al

verbal Synonyms

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


2

verbal

noun

Definition of verbal

: a word that combines characteristics of a verb with those of a noun or adjective — compare gerund, infinitive, participle

Recent Examples of verbal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'verbal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of verbal

borrowed from New Latin verbālis, noun derivative of Late Latin verbālis 1verbal

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms



VERBAL Defined for English Language Learners

verbal

adjective

Definition of verbal for English Language Learners

  • : relating to or consisting of words

  • : spoken rather than written

  • : relating to or formed from a verb


VERBAL Defined for Kids

verbal

adjective ver·bal \ ˈvər-bəl \

Definition of verbal for Students

1 : of, relating to, or consisting of words
  • verbal communication
2 : spoken rather than written
  • verbal testimony
3 : of, relating to, or formed from a verb
  • a verbal adjective

verbally

adverb

Word Root of verbal

The Latin word verbum, meaning “word,” gives us the root verb. Words from the Latin verbum have something to do with words. A verb is a word that shows action. An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb. A proverb, or short saying containing a wise thought, is made up of a few well-chosen words. Anything verbal is made up of spoken words.



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