Definition of verbiage
- such a tangled maze of evasive verbiage as a typical party platform
- —Marcia Davenport
- sportswriters guarded their verbiage so jealously
- —R. A. Sokolov
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The editor removed some of the excess verbiage from the article.
teachers loathe the verbiage that students resort to in order to pad a paper
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'verbiage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Verbiage descends from Middle French verbier ("to chatter"), itself an offspring of "werbler," an Old French word meaning "to trill." The usual sense of the word implies an overabundance of possibly unnecessary words. It is similar to "wordiness," except that it stresses the superfluous words themselves more than the quality that produces them. In other words, a writer with a fondness for "verbiage" might be accused of "wordiness." Some people think the phrase "excess verbiage" is redundant, but that's not necessarily true. In the early 19th century, "verbiage" developed a second sense meaning, simply, "wording," with no suggestion of excess. This second definition has sometimes been treated as an error by people who insist that "verbiage" must always imply excessiveness, but that sense is well-established and can be considered standard.
First Known Use: circa 1721See Words from the same year
: speech or writing that contains too many words or that uses words that are more difficult than necessary
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for verbiage
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