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

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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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web More than 90 senators populated the chamber for the debate — guarded by dozens of heavily armed police — and the typically verbose crowd had to keep their remarks to just five minutes. Andrew Taylor,, "Somber Senate unites to reject election challenges," 7 Jan. 2021 His verbose questions often took one side of the issue, as if playing gotcha in his Sunday interview program, when the point should have been to solicit information to help voters. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Depressing Debate Spectacle," 30 Sep. 2020 Created by Aaron Sorkin, the series—which chronicled the presidency of Jed Barlet (Michael Sheen) and his ever-loyal staff, from the campaign’s earliest days to its final ones—boasts its creator’s brilliantly verbose style. Jennifer M. Wood, Wired, "The 15 TV Shows You Need to Binge This Fall," 23 Sep. 2020 Why take on this verbose stage play adaptation for her directorial debut? Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Regina King speaks out after blowing critics away with 'One Night in Miami'," 12 Sep. 2020 Better known for verbose retail politics than soaring rhetoric, Biden didn't ramble. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden, in acceptance speech, pledges new era of 'light' over Trump failures," 20 Aug. 2020 The Renaissance masters of the handoff may be CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, whose yakety transitions are the most advanced and personal (or maybe just the most verbose) expression of the form. Washington Post, "The most revealing moments on cable news happen when one big-name host hands off to another," 16 Aug. 2020 And notably, the notoriously verbose Biden has belied his gaffe-prone propensity by being mostly on-message lately — in part due to the pandemic, which has grounded him in more ways than one. Star Tribune, "Still much on the line for online conventions," 14 Aug. 2020 The slow, verbose world of academic communication has given way to the blistering, constrained world of tweets and news segments. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Experts Are Not Okay," 7 July 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for verbose

Time Traveler

The first known use of verbose was circa 1531

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Verbose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of verbose

formal : using more words than are needed

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