ver·​bose | \ (ˌ)vər-ˈbōs How to pronounce verbose (audio) \

Definition of verbose

1 : containing more words than necessary : wordy a verbose reply also : impaired by wordiness a verbose style
2 : given to wordiness a verbose orator

Other Words from verbose

verbosely adverb
verboseness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for verbose

wordy, verbose, prolix, diffuse mean using more words than necessary to express thought. wordy may also imply loquaciousness or garrulity. a wordy speech verbose suggests a resulting dullness, obscurity, or lack of incisiveness or precision. the verbose position papers prolix suggests unreasonable and tedious dwelling on details. habitually transformed brief anecdotes into prolix sagas diffuse stresses lack of compactness and pointedness of style. diffuse memoirs that are so many shaggy-dog stories

Did you know?

There's no shortage of words to describe wordiness in English. Diffuse, long-winded, prolix, redundant, windy, repetitive, rambling, and circumlocutory are some that come to mind. Want to express the opposite idea? Try succinct, concise, brief, short, summary, terse, compact, or compendious. Verbose, which falls solidly into the first camp of words, comes from Latin verbosus, from verbum, meaning "word." Other descendants of verbum include verb, adverb, proverb, verbal, and verbicide (that's the deliberate distortion of the sense of a word).

Examples of verbose in a Sentence

Something seems to have gone seriously wrong with the subediting and proof-reading of this self-indulgently verbose and misprint-ridden production, which is further flawed by a mis-match between the author's vaulting theoretical ambitions and his scholarly limitations, notably his faulty grasp of ancient Greek and inability to deliver a clear and consistent line of reasoned and logical argument. — Paul Cartledge, Times Literary Supplement, 8 Mar. 1991 What makes this tiny tome so much fun are the answers. There are occasional one-word zingers: to a verbose question as to whether a resident of a planet with two suns would have two shadows, Merlin's response is "Yes." The longest answers are about a page in length and seem to be triggered when a questioner happens upon one of the author's favorite topics or pet peeves, such as relativity, tachyons, and the endangered ozone layer. — James H. Sharp, Air & Space Smithsonian, February/March 1990 I must confess … that if I had known how many classics there are in English literature, and how verbose the best of them contrive to be, I should never have undertaken the work. They only allow one seventy thousand words, you see. — Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out, 1915 He is a verbose speaker. She has a verbose writing style.
Recent Examples on the Web Laurie Woolery, who has helmed the premieres of several new plays at another New Haven theater, the Yale Rep, in New Haven, has a knack for packing action and needed distraction into scenes that might otherwise be tiringly verbose. Christopher Arnott,, 19 Mar. 2022 Nate wasn’t very verbose about what had gone on in the foyer. Katcy Stephan, Variety, 28 Feb. 2022 This is a great tool to use so that more verbose and talkative members of the classroom don’t dominate the conversations. Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Tate’s ethic of linking the intellectual, practical, and transgressive dimensions of Black cultures came alive in verbose bouts of playfulness that came straight from his participation in Black communal spaces. Tirhakah Love, Vulture, 14 Dec. 2021 Some believe that the human passenger should be able to activate a more verbose version of the commentary driving. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 Advocates and others say the verbose documents are hard to navigate and daunting when staff needs to know what to do quickly. Claudia Lauer, Star Tribune, 25 June 2021 The younger brother of Lonzo and LiAngelo and the son of verbose LaVar, LaMelo received national headlines for making a half-court shot two seconds into a high school game in 2016. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Nov. 2021 For the most part, the verbose DC-area MC — and stalwart of Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group — holds fast to the buoyant, conversational sound that's filled his catalog. Ew Staff,, 22 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'verbose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of verbose

circa 1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for verbose

borrowed from Latin verbōsus, from verbum "word, verb entry 1" + -ōsus -ose entry 1

Learn More About verbose

Time Traveler for verbose

Time Traveler

The first known use of verbose was circa 1531

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About verbose

Dictionary Entries Near verbose




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for verbose

Last Updated

3 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Verbose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on verbose

Nglish: Translation of verbose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of verbose for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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