verbal

1 of 2

adjective

ver·​bal ˈvər-bəl How to pronounce verbal (audio)
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 scholasticB. 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

verbal

2 of 2

noun

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

Examples of verbal in a Sentence

Adjective He scored well on the verbal section of the test. They had a verbal exchange. a verbal agreement to finish the work We gave only verbal instructions.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The next generation of tests The most common mental health assessments being used today are short, self-reported, written or verbal tests—a handful of questions that can help clinicians determine if, for example, anxiety or depression are present. Daliah Singer, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 June 2024 But online critics quickly seized on his Saturday night gaffe, with the Biden campaign — which has long fought off criticism about the Democratic president's verbal missteps — posting a clip of the moment minutes later. NPR, 16 June 2024 Later in the press conference, Reese took another verbal jab at the way the game was called. Issy Ronald, CNN, 16 June 2024 This year’s Tribeca Film Festival has launched its De Niro Con celebration of its iconic co-founder, and one of the first big events included a rousing discussion with verbal odd couple Quentin Tarantino and Robert De Niro. William Earl, Variety, 15 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for verbal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'verbal.' 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

Adjective

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

Noun

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

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of verbal was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near verbal

Cite this Entry

“Verbal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verbal. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

verbal

1 of 2 adjective
ver·​bal ˈvər-bəl How to pronounce verbal (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or consisting of words
verbal instructions
2
: of, relating to, or formed from a verb
a verbal adjective
3
: spoken rather than written
a verbal agreement
verbally adverb

verbal

2 of 2 noun
: a word that combines characteristics of a verb with those of a noun or adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on verbal

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!