verb

noun
\ ˈvərb How to pronounce verb (audio) \

Definition of verb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a word that characteristically is the grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of being, that in various languages is inflected for agreement with the subject, for tense, for voice, for mood, or for aspect, and that typically has rather full descriptive meaning and characterizing quality but is sometimes nearly devoid of these especially when used as an auxiliary or linking verb

verb

verb
verbed; verbing

Definition of verb (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to use (a word and especially a noun) as a verb : to make (a word) into a verb A television announcer in Vero Beach, Fla., spoke of a promise "to upkeep the beach," thus verbing a word that had been in use as an honest noun since 1884.— James Kilpatrick But it is by no means unusual for a noun to be verbed.— Theodore M. Bernstein

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Other Words from verb

Noun

verbless \ ˈvər-​bləs How to pronounce verbless (audio) \ adjective

What is a verb?

Verbs are words that show an action (sing), occurrence (develop), or state of being (exist). Almost every sentence requires a verb. The basic form of a verb is known as its infinitive. The forms call, love, break, and go are all infinitives.

Almost all verbs have two other important forms called participles. Participles are forms that are used to create several verb tenses (forms that are used to show when an action happened); they can also be used as adjectives. The present participle always ends in -ing: calling, loving, breaking, going. (There is also a kind of noun, called a gerund, that is identical in form to the present participle form of a verb.) The past participle usually ends in -ed, but many past participles have irregular endings: called, loved, broken, gone.

The verb's past tense usually has the same -ed form as the past participle. For many verbs, however, the past tense is irregular. An irregular past tense is not always identical to an irregular past participle: called, loved, broke, went.

The two main kinds of verbs, transitive verbs and intransitive verbs, are discussed at the entries for transitive and intransitive.

Examples of verb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During the first three weeks, as students chanted verb conjugations and ate oatmeal in the courtyard of the school’s low-slung yellow buildings, four more disappeared. Natalie Keyssar, National Geographic, "How this quiet region in Guatemala became the epicenter of migration," 26 July 2019 In Hoang's world, cubing is a verb and a calming practice. Lisa Bonos, Dallas News, "Romance novelist Helen Hoang writes about love on the autism spectrum," 23 July 2019 The verb fight is transitive here and does have an object. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘The Bulldogs That Bulldogs Fight’," 16 May 2019 At least disrupt started off as a compact, muscular verb, an implicit call to arms. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Angry Nerd: Come On! We Can't 'Decentralize' Everything!," 24 June 2019 Vow Mad Libs Print out traditional vows, leaving blanks for nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Heather Hall, Harper's BAZAAR, "10 Bridal Shower Game Ideas You Won't Hate Playing," 5 June 2019 For people of a certain generation, that was MTV‘s celebrity prank show Punk’d, whose title has become a verb in its own right. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "MTV launching reimagined Punk'd and Singled Out for Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi platform," 4 June 2019 Arguably one of the crown jewel properties of the Eastern seaboard, the Ocean House is the embodiment of summer, the verb. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "The Best Room At," 8 Mar. 2019 Instead, the word can only be described by playing cards that contain nouns, verbs, adjectives, and relations. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Eight great board games we played at PAX Unplugged," 8 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'verb.' 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 verb

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for verb

Noun

Middle English verbe, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin verbum "word, verb" — more at word entry 1

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Statistics for verb

Last Updated

5 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for verb

The first known use of verb was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for verb

verb

noun

English Language Learners Definition of verb

grammar : a word (such as jump, think, happen, or exist) that is usually one of the main parts of a sentence and that expresses an action, an occurrence, or a state of being

verb

noun
\ ˈvərb How to pronounce verb (audio) \

Kids Definition of verb

: a word that expresses an act, occurrence, or state of being

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More from Merriam-Webster on verb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with verb

Spanish Central: Translation of verb

Nglish: Translation of verb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of verb for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about verb

Comments on verb

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