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



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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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 During that time, the Illinois sites have published overwhelmingly positive coverage of her, including running some of her news releases verbatim. Jack Nicas, New York Times, "As Local News Dies, a Pay-for-Play Network Rises in Its Place," 18 Oct. 2020 During that time, the Illinois sites have published overwhelmingly positive coverage of her, including running some of her news releases verbatim. Davey Alba And Jack Nicas New York Times, Star Tribune, "As local news dies, a pay-for-play network rises in its place," 18 Oct. 2020 Within minutes of the board of elections' tweet being deleted, another Twitter account – @Wayne_In_Akron – posted the same article and message almost verbatim. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Summit County Board of Elections employee accidentally tweets from official account downplaying COVID-19," 12 Oct. 2020 That tweet comes almost verbatim from the AP story. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Sen. Mike Lee says KSL is too liberal, wants the LDS Church to sell it," 10 Sep. 2020 A century later, this language was lifted verbatim by James Madison and written into the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Queen Kamala’s Imperial Aspirations," 18 Aug. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To send up Trump, Tomorrow pulls from a pretty adaptable tool kit, but one of his most consistent approaches is to deploy the president’s own words, sometimes verbatim. Washington Post, "From two cartoonists, twisted takes on life with Trump," 23 Oct. 2020 This could have been me, verbatim, before several years of therapy directed at this particular thought pattern. The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live: 'Adventurous people find ways'," 23 Oct. 2020 The Times sent a list of eight identical questions to each candidate and has included their verbatim responses to each question at the end of this article, in alphabetical order by last name. Ben Leonard,, "In race for Carroll County Circuit Court judge, Morton and Titus differ on criminal justice reform, addiction," 16 Oct. 2020 Many of the emails opposing the plan were virtually verbatim. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "Plano drops its ugly master plan fight, but can it heal divisive political splits?," 3 Aug. 2020 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

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

27 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Verbatim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of verbatim

: in exactly the same words

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