ver·​klempt fər-ˈklem(p)t How to pronounce verklempt (audio)
: overcome with emotion : choked up
Hunched over my tiny screens lately, I've found myself … verklempt over an old video I posted of my son blowing bubbles in the bathtub.James Poniewozik

Examples of verklempt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Though the band kept their introductions and banter to a minimum, Henley seemed genuinely verklempt at the opportunity to entertain generations of fans. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 7 Jan. 2024 Matt Rogers got verklempt at Tayla’s surprise song. Vulture, 6 Aug. 2023 Every single passenger of Noordam seems verklempt, stunned into silence by the unexpected grandeur and fragility of the confluence of ice and stone and sea and sky. Ernest White Ii, Condé Nast Traveler, 17 Nov. 2022 The 95-year-old Bennett—who retired from music last year after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease—introduced Gaga, who was clearly verklempt to be singing solo. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, 4 Apr. 2022 Tre is also a devoted son who gets a little verklempt talking about his parents, who have been married for 29 years. Kristen Baldwin,, 8 June 2021 Actor BD Wong, a San Francisco native who has achieved great acclaim on Broadway and television, was initially verklempt, struggling to contain his emotion before finding words to describe Perloff. Catherine Bigelow, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Apr. 2018

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

Word History


borrowed from Yiddish farklemt "depressed, grieving," past participle of farklemen "to grip, press," going back to Middle High German verklemmen, from ver-, vir-, vor-, verb prefix, here with intensive force (going back to Old High German fir-, far- for-) + klemmen "to press, squeeze," going back to Old High German -klemmen (in biklemmen "to block, oppress"), going back to Germanic *klammjan-, derivative from a base *klamm-, whence Old English clam, clom "bond, fetter" — more at clam entry 1

Note: The spelling verklempt shows accommodation to standard German orthography.

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of verklempt was in 1991

Dictionary Entries Near verklempt

Cite this Entry

“Verklempt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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