verdant

adjective

ver·​dant ˈvər-dᵊnt How to pronounce verdant (audio)
1
a
: green in tint or color
b
: green with growing plants
verdant fields
2
: unripe in experience or judgment : green sense 5a
verdancy noun
verdantly adverb

Did you know?

English speakers have been using verdant as a ripe synonym of green since at least the 16th century, and as a descriptive term for inexperienced or naïve people since the 19th century. (By contrast, the more experienced green has colored our language since well before the 12th century, and was first applied to inexperienced people in the 16th century.) Verdant comes from the Old French word for "green," vert, which itself is from Latin virēre, meaning "to show green growth" or "to be green." Today, vert is used in English as a word for green forest vegetation and the heraldic color green. A related word is virescent, meaning "beginning to be green."

Examples of verdant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web About a 90-minute drive through verdant hills from Montego Bay, Sandals South Coast in White House is filled with familiar tropical resort scenes: beach volleyball, cabanas in the sand, swim-up bars, catamarans, and paddleboarders. Nina Ruggiero, Travel + Leisure, 15 Dec. 2023 The glamorous haven, formerly a 16th-century Benedictine monastery, is found perched in the verdant hills with exceptional views of the Gulf of Tigullio (seen at the top of post). Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 13 Dec. 2023 Light streams in not from clunky overhead fixtures but through floor-to-ceiling windows, offering gloriously unrestricted views of the verdant Loire Valley countryside. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2023 In summer, the front of the home is shielded by verdant trees and plants. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 6 Feb. 2024 This verdant landscape is peppered with grand haciendas and tiny, shaded cafetales where families have long worked the land, and even passersby enjoy the aroma of the world's best coffee. Carley Rojas Avila, Travel + Leisure, 3 Feb. 2024 In the center of the mountains of the Western Area Forest, a verdant valley drops into the Guma Dam reservoir. David McKenzie, CNN, 2 Feb. 2024 The decadent sleeper train will be operating roundtrip journeys out of Singapore that weave through the dense and verdant landscapes of Malaysia, calling upon bustling cities and coastal retreats along the way. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 31 Jan. 2024 From the verdant Willamette Valley with its misty mornings and spectacular Pinots, to Walla Walla Washington’s gently rolling hills and stunning Syrahs, to the Valle de Guadalupe’s dramatic landscape and ingenious blends. Hugh Garvey, Sunset Magazine, 26 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'verdant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

contracted from Middle French verdoyant, from present participle of verdoyer "to be green, turn green," going back to Old French verdoier, from verd, vert "green" (going back to Latin viridis, from a base *wir-, whence virēre "to show green growth, be green" of uncertain origin) + -oier, factitive verb suffix, going back to Latin -idiāre, originally representing variant pronunciation (or spelling variant) of -izāre -ize

Note: Latin viridis and virēre have been linked to Lithuanian visti "to multiply, breed," veisti "to breed, rear," as well as to Old English wīse "sprout, stalk," Old High German wisa "meadow," though the semantic connections are vague enough to make this a very tenuous hypothesis.

First Known Use

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of verdant was in 1581

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Dictionary Entries Near verdant

Cite this Entry

“Verdant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/verdant. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

verdant

adjective
ver·​dant ˈvərd-ᵊnt How to pronounce verdant (audio)
: green with growing plants
verdant fields
verdantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on verdant

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