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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for verbatim

Synonyms: Adverb

ad verbum, directly, exactly, word for word

Antonyms: Adverb


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

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 The point is not to polish and make what was originally spoken read as if it were written, but rather to make the verbatim transcripts of what was actually said readable in the first place. Adam Fisher, WIRED, "Sex, Beer, and Coding: Inside Facebook’s Wild Early Days," 10 July 2018 In his previous job as attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt had sued the EPA 14 times and was a very close friend of the state’s oil and gas industries, sometimes repeating their talking points verbatim. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Scott Pruitt is leaving behind a toxic mess at the EPA," 6 July 2018 The video is a verbatim reenactment of the arrest except that Rome cast a white actress as Bland and a black actor as Encinia. Ariel Parrella-aureli, Chicago Reader, "365 Ways to Kill an American offers a new perspective on police brutality," 12 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about verbatim

Listen to Our Podcast about verbatim

Statistics for verbatim

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for verbatim

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for verbatim



English Language Learners Definition of verbatim

: in exactly the same words

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on verbatim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with verbatim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for verbatim

Spanish Central: Translation of verbatim

Nglish: Translation of verbatim for Spanish Speakers

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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!