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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.

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
Much was taken verbatim from body cam recordings, courtroom testimony, etc. Matt Brennan, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2024 Outputs from Microsoft and OpenAI products, the newspapers’ lawsuit claimed, reproduced portions of the newspapers’ articles verbatim. Ethan Baron, Twin Cities, 30 Apr. 2024
And in ordinary use—with users who aren’t trying to get the software to reproduce training images—verbatim copies like this should be even less common. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 3 Apr. 2023 Do: Get a head start on writing something difficult, dull or unfamiliar Don’t: Use any of this verbatim Example: My colleague Will Oremus asked Copilot to design a first practice for a youth soccer team. Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for verbatim 

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

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 17 Jun. 2024.

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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