adjective ver·bose \(ˌ)vər-ˈbōs\

Definition of verbose

  1. 1 :  containing more words than necessary :  wordy a verbose reply; also :  impaired by wordiness a verbose style

  2. 2 :  given to wordiness a verbose orator






play \(ˌ)vər-ˈbä-sə-tē\ noun

verbose was our Word of the Day on 04/30/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of verbose in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. He is a verbose speaker.

  5. She has a verbose writing style.

Origin and Etymology of verbose

borrowed from Latin verbōsus, from verbum “word, verb” + -ōsus 1-ose

First Known Use: 1672

Synonym Discussion of 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

VERBOSE Defined for English Language Learners


adjective ver·bose \(ˌ)vər-ˈbōs\

Definition of verbose for English Language Learners

  • : using more words than are needed

Seen and Heard

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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