ver·​bal·​ly ˈvər-bə-lē How to pronounce verbally (audio)
: in words : through or by the use of words
Yet it seems whenever somebody writes about him, Sheen gets verbally slugged for not driving around in some beat-up old Chevy.Hal Rubenstein
In Chapter 1 … Burge explains verbally, formally, and symbolically the system of notations to be used in the book.Datamation
: in spoken rather than written words
In the centuries before the Magna Carta, agreements were made and kept verbally.Janeen R. Adil
… John's will was not a written will. It was a nuncupative will, which means on his deathbed, John verbally told persons how he wanted his estate divided or dispensed.Sharon Tate Moody
… is intended to express, whether verbally or in writing, or in any other way, the real process of thought.Trewin Copplestone
Although some prospects arrive at these football factories verbally committed to a college, most are still free agents.Bruce Feldman
: with regard to words or language
Lessing has never been an elegant writer. At her better and best, she is cranky, … pleonastic, defensive, and verbally self-indulgent.Susan Lardner
Some toddlers walk early and talk late; others are verbally precocious but happily creep and crawl until the middle of the second year.Susan Ochshorn
: as a verb
a noun being used verbally

Examples of verbally in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Unless an adult was nearby, the excluding kids were verbally hostile, cruel and bullying to the shunned child. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 9 Feb. 2024 If nothing else, the movie is a refreshing change of pace from such properties as Orange Is the New Black, where the women rebuke and revile each other — both emotionally and physically — and The Real Housewives of Dallas, in which five women verbally clawed each others’ eyes out all spring. Brett Weiss, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 What the officers were not verbally told was that the suspect had a history of violence with his wife, was armed with a gun and was high on PCP, according to reporting by the Los Angeles Daily News. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 29 Jan. 2024 When asked specifically about protocols and regulations in re: classified documents and their safekeeping, retention, etc. in regard to National Archives Act etc., Felon becomes verbally abusive though insists proper procedures are being followed. David Harsanyi, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 As the queen bee of Northshore High, Regina is often shown verbally attacking her classmates and close friends. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2024 Furman accused board members Milton Harris, the executive director of local nonprofit 100 Black Men, of verbally attacking his wife in front of staff and collaborating with another employee to defame her for personal gain. Melissa Manno, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Jan. 2024 During this same period of time, multiple witnesses said several staff members took an openly adversarial position toward Gerber, verbally challenging her directives. Claudia Levens, Journal Sentinel, 12 Jan. 2024 The weeklong November national letter of intent signing window opened Wednesday, and the Aztecs got signatures from two of three high school seniors who verbally committed weeks and months earlier. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1571, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of verbally was in 1571

Dictionary Entries Near verbally

Cite this Entry

“Verbally.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on verbally

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!