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


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

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

ad verbum, directly, exactly, word for word

Antonyms: Adverb


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Get Wordy With Verbatim


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


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


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

The girls were accustomed to copying lessons verbatim from the blackboard. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "Freedom for the World’s Most Famous Hostages Came at a Heavy Price," 24 Dec. 2017 Mr. Trump announced Mr. Spicer’s departure and Mr. Scaramucci’s arrival in statements that Ms. Sanders read verbatim from the podium. Julie Hirschfeld Davis And Michael D. Shear, New York Times, "The Latest Voice at the Lectern: An Effusive New Yorker," 21 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

One of the most poignant moments in I Love You, Now Die comes when Carr reveals that Carter sent text messages to Roy that were taken, verbatim, from characters on the high-school drama Glee. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Cultural Fault Lines of I Love You, Now Die," 10 July 2019 Court documents outlined instances of entire blocks of text from the William Hill guide appearing verbatim in the FanDuel version, although in a different typeface. Washington Post, "Bookmaker gives $50K from copyright suit to writing class," 24 June 2019 Amash used that line verbatim to reply to Trump's threat. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump Jr. threatens to help challenge against Rep., Justin Amash, who supports impeachment," 13 June 2019 Okay, not a verbatim quote, but that's basically it. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "An Ode to the Glasses of This Week's Episode of 'The Bachelor'," 22 Jan. 2019 These answers may not be verbatim for every occasion. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Mariners 3B Kyle Seager had his worst statistical season in 2018. Here’s what went wrong.," 1 Oct. 2018 In a number of countries, constitutional drafters have copied extensively, and at times verbatim, from the text of the U.S. Constitution. James Freeman, WSJ, "Andrew Cuomo and American Exceptionalism," 16 Aug. 2018 To many here, Mr. Scalfari personifies an impressionistic style of Italian journalism, prevalent in its coverage of the Vatican, politics and much else, in which the gist is more important than the verbatim, and the spirit greater than the letter. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Does Hell Exist? And Did the Pope Give an Answer?," 30 Mar. 2018 Before pronouncing sentence, Pouros took seven minutes to read the victim's direct testimony back verbatim. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Slinger High School band director gets 5 years in prison for student sex assault," 8 June 2018

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

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

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More Definitions for verbatim



English Language Learners Definition of verbatim

: in exactly the same words

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More from Merriam-Webster on verbatim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with verbatim

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Spanish Central: Translation of verbatim

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Britannica English: Translation of verbatim for Arabic Speakers

Comments on verbatim

What made you want to look up verbatim? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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