ver·​ba·​tim | \ (ˌ)vər-ˈbā-təm How to pronounce verbatim (audio) \

Definition of verbatim

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in the exact words : word for word quoted the speech verbatim



Definition of verbatim (Entry 2 of 2)

: being in or following the exact words : word-for-word a verbatim report of the meeting

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Synonyms & Antonyms for verbatim

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Latin has a phrase for "exactly as written": verbatim ac litteratim, which literally means "word for word and letter for letter." Like the verbatim in that Latin phrase, the English verbatim means "word for word." As you may have noticed, there's a verb in verbatim—and that's no mere coincidence. Both verb and verbatim are derived from the Latin word for "word," which is verbum. Other common English words that share this root include adverb, proverb, and verbose. Even the word word itself is related. Verbatim can also be an adjective meaning "being in or following the exact words" (as in "a verbatim report") and a rarer noun referring to an account, translation, or report that follows the original word for word.

Examples of verbatim in a Sentence

Adverb The New York Times reported that recent posts lambasting legislation against Wal-Mart came verbatim from the retailer's p.r. firm. — Sally B. Donnelly et al., Time, 20 Mar. 2006 Some passages in the book are taken verbatim from the blog … Publishers Weekly, 13 June 2005 Around his eleventh year he compiled a sort of commonplace book in which he transcribed passages from his reading.  … But these entries aren't rendered verbatim: [Arthur] Rimbaud expands and contracts his sources, plays with lines, exhibiting a very early, very organic sort of literary criticism. — Wyatt Mason, Harper's, October 2002 "My own anxieties about mortality are tempered just slightly," says [Ken] Burns (quoting, almost verbatim, his introduction to "Jazz's" companion coffee-table book), "by the notion that if we continue to try hard, we'll have a chance to hear Louis blow Gabriel out of the clouds." — David Gates, Newsweek, 8 Jan. 2001 you can't just copy the encyclopedia article verbatim for your report—that's plagiarism Adjective Was Coleridge's "Table Talk," as recorded by his circle, his words or theirs—or a conflation of both? And what about Boswell, the most celebrated auditor of them all, who composed a masterpiece of English literature out of the supposedly verbatim speech of Samuel Johnson? Did Johnson begin his every declaration with an orotund "Sir?" — James Atlas, New York Times Magazine, 23 June 1991 Some readers may unfortunately be made mistrustful of the authors' findings by their attempts to enliven the book with unverifiable—if inconsequential—details about the settings of events and by occasionally presenting unrecorded conversations of four decades ago in the form of verbatim quotations. — Henry Ashby Turner, New York Times Book Review, 22 June 1986
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb At a committee hearing at the state Capitol later that day, Hinkins read out the talking points nearly verbatim, and both Somers and Hrenko-Browning spoke in favor of the resolution, which later passed. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 May 2021 Many other parts of the show – including monologues about his childhood in Freehold, his father, Clarence Clemons, dodging the Vietnam draft, and driving cross-country in 1970 – were taken verbatim from the last run. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 27 June 2021 Though no member of the Milwaukee Bucks quoted it verbatim over the last week against the Miami Heat, a version of it has been espoused in team huddles by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 May 2021 Much of the language in both the House and Senate bills was pulled verbatim from a 2020 executive order by Trump, restricting diversity training and the use of critical race theory in the federal government. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, 22 May 2021 Most of them could have been printed verbatim as a newspaper column. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 20 May 2021 But most of this week’s 38 inking entries (31 on the print page) stuck to the original meaning, often quoting verbatim from some newsmaker or other. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2021 That language was used verbatim in a Facebook post by Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier. Rick Rouan, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2021 Key words are vital to get your résumé noticed but cramming in phrases lifted verbatim from the job description or make your résumé hard to read won’t get you far. Kathryn Dill, WSJ, 7 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The transcript is performed verbatim, right down to the tiniest hems and haws. Terry Teachout, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 Nevertheless, a 65-minute verbatim transcript has now become the basis for one of the thrillingest thrillers ever to hit Broadway. New York Times, 11 Oct. 2021 Brandtjen, the chairwoman of the Assembly Elections Committee, in August issued 47-point subpoenas to Milwaukee and Brown counties that were nearly verbatim to a request made by a Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Sep. 2021 Performed by nine polished actors in the late-summer Washington air, the 1977 show, based on Studs Terkel’s 1974 book of verbatim interviews with working people of all classes and colors, is a cabaret of everyday exertion. Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2021 Director Tina Satter uses the transcript of the arrest of whistleblower Reality Winner for this beautiful verbatim production, which was a roaring success both Off Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre and at the Kitchen. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 3 Sep. 2021 Aficionados know that verbatim comedy climaxed 11 years ago with Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s 2010 Romeo and Juliet, which gathered interviewees’ misrememberings about Shakespeare’s plot, then delivered them with melodramatic gusto. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 25 Aug. 2021 And, as another resource, is a website the League sponsors which provides the public with verbatim candidates responses. cleveland, 30 July 2021 But the format itself — such as the appearance of verbatim dialogue and interior thoughts — provides ample clues as to which characters played ball. Mark Whitaker, Washington Post, 15 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'verbatim.' 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 verbatim


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for verbatim


borrowed from Medieval Latin verbātim, from Latin verbum "word, verb entry 1" + -ātim (as in nōminātim "by name, expressly," formed from -ātus, past participle suffix and -im, adverbial suffix)


adjective derivative of verbatim entry 1

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Time Traveler for verbatim

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The first known use of verbatim was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near verbatim



verbatim et litteratim

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Cite this Entry

“Verbatim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for verbatim



English Language Learners Definition of verbatim

: in exactly the same words

More from Merriam-Webster on verbatim

Nglish: Translation of verbatim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of verbatim for Arabic Speakers


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