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ver·​ba·​tim (ˌ)vər-ˈbā-təm How to pronounce verbatim (audio)
: in the exact words : word for word
quoted the speech verbatim


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

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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.

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Numerous passages from this article appear to have been copied verbatim from previous sources. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 29 Aug. 2016 Who among us didn’t watch this movie so much, it could be recited verbatim by our teen years? Joshua St. Clair, Men's Health, 5 Dec. 2022 The executive was read a post that Molly had liked or saved from Instagram, and heard how it was copied almost verbatim in a note filled with words of self-loathing later found by her parents. Adam Satariano, New York Times, 1 Oct. 2022 Wallace goes on to point at the petition on the petition circulator’s clipboard and read it verbatim. Suhauna Hussainstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2022 Specific as Ozon’s approach here may be (nothing feels accidental or arbitrary), his lovingly made curio, which often borrows verbatim from its predecessor, comes off a bit tired and trifling. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 2022 Their real-life conversation is recreated almost verbatim in the series. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 27 Aug. 2022 But the words are taken verbatim from a 1970 police charging record, documenting the reasons for Mr. Sirico’s arrest on extortion and weapons charges. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, 10 July 2022 The Enquirer's questions and were edited for clarity and brevity while Berhalter's responses are quoted verbatim. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 30 May 2022
The vast majority of the scenes in the TV movie, at least on paper, come straight out of Heat — often verbatim. Vulture, 16 June 2022 That is, verbatim, the form in which the inquiry is typically posed. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 26 Nov. 2020 The live show featured over a dozen songs that copied verbatim dialogue, character traits and expression, and other elements from Bridgerton the series ... Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2022 Rio said in an interview that his changes largely amounted to rewriting and smoothing out what others were proposing already, but much of his language remains nearly verbatim in the final version. Sabrina Shankman,, 16 Nov. 2022 The Facebook group used the same community guidelines nearly verbatim, and even added a disclaimer that the group was directly inspired by its predecessor. Jamie Kahn, Glamour, 26 Oct. 2022 The series pulls in verbatim passages from the letters that appeared in the magazine story by Reeves Wiedeman, so there are a number of scenes featuring Watts and Cannavale furrowing their brows over typed correspondence. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2022 Although this is not a verbatim drama, interviews are the source of the dramatic material. Charles Mcnulty, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2022 Bernier and Tauchen received the e-mail at 10:47 a.m. on Nov. 9, virtually the same time the Arizona lawmakers received a verbatim copy of the message from Thomas., 1 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1613, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near verbatim

Cite this Entry

“Verbatim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: in the same words : word for word
wrote down the speech verbatim

More from Merriam-Webster on verbatim

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