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

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

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 Ballard thought about his country, and at one point on Thursday, stopped and read verbatim from the Declaration of Independence. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Colts' GM Chris Ballard admits he's been ignorant to racism: 'Black lives matter'," 4 June 2020 The same message was tweeted verbatim by multiple accounts. NBC News, "White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter," 1 June 2020 The group polled viewers in three of those districts as the ads rolled out and found that constituents were quoting the messages of the ads verbatim - indicating to officials that their message is resonating, according to the group's polling memo. Anchorage Daily News, "Republicans mount ad blitz on impeachment, making some vulnerable Democrats nervous," 8 Dec. 2019 In one instance, the agency included language in a policy memo that was copied verbatim from a document Hunton submitted to EPA on behalf of the Air Permitting Forum. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Anchorage Daily News, "EPA’s watchdog is scrutinizing ethics practices of agency’s former air policy chief," 22 July 2019 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 The owner of the page copies and pastes all of Mr. Trump's posts verbatim to see if Facebook will flag any for violence or hurtful language. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Facebook page that copies President Trump's posts gets flagged for violence – when the president's didn't," 12 June 2020 The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity produced groundbreaking research, collaborating to find more than 10,000 bills nationwide that were written almost verbatim by special interest groups. Usa Today Network Press Room, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY NETWORK Wins Five EPPY Awards From Editor & Publisher," 29 Oct. 2019 Altria, the tobacco giant behind the verbatim text of Rep. Tom Cole’s industry-friendly bill, sent four representatives to an OMB meeting two days before Thanksgiving. Emily Baumgaertner, Anchorage Daily News, "The FDA tried to ban flavors years before the vaping outbreak. Top Obama officials nixed the plan.," 1 Oct. 2019 Altria, the tobacco giant behind the verbatim text of Rep. Tom Cole’s industry-friendly bill, sent four representatives to an OMB meeting two days before Thanksgiving. Emily Baumgaertner, Los Angeles Times, "The FDA tried to ban flavors years before the vaping outbreak. Top Obama officials rejected the plan," 1 Oct. 2019 Over the remainder of the episode, Clare dances around repeating J.P.’s words verbatim. Ariana Romero,, "Clare Was The Obvious Bachelorette Pick 6 Years Ago — This Is Why She Lost It," 15 Apr. 2020 Da capo arias contain three discrete sections, with the first part returning after a contrasting middle — not verbatim, but with decorations showcasing a singer’s prowess. Christopher Corwin, New York Times, "Is This the Best Opera Singer You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of?," 20 Feb. 2020 Instead, the untruth is often first published by an obscure website posing as a legitimate news site, then several and sometimes dozens of other unreliable sites republish the same story, often verbatim or with just a few words changed. Gabby Deutch, Wired, "How One Particular Coronavirus Myth Went Viral," 19 Mar. 2020 White House officials previously had portrayed the document as not a verbatim transcription but rather a summary that closely tracked the words the president used in his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Anchorage Daily News, "Odd markings, ellipses fuel doubts about the ‘rough transcript’ of Trump’s Ukraine call," 3 Oct. 2019

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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Last Updated

17 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Verbatim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce verbatim (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of verbatim

: in exactly the same words

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