\ ˈvərv \

Definition of verve 

1a : the spirit and enthusiasm animating artistic composition or performance : vivacity

b : energy, vitality

2 archaic : special ability or talent

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Examples of verve in a Sentence

She played with skill and verve.

Recent Examples on the Web

Payton has some of the same basic qualities to his game, if without the same verve. Rob Mahoney,, "NBA Free Agency 2018: Under-the-Radar Grades," 4 July 2018 Her playful fine jewelry (inlaid with turquoise and pearl) fuses her northern background with her adopted home’s cosmopolitan verve. Mosha Lundström Halbert, Vogue, "The Latina Cool Girl’s Guide to Mexico City," 4 June 2018 Even so, Phyllida Lloyd’s production is a rollicking rollercoaster ride, delivered with stylistic verve and fireball energy by a high-caliber cast and crew. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Tina': Theater Review," 17 Apr. 2018 The film was directed, with fantastic verve, by first-time feature filmmaker Carlos Lopez Estrada, whose videos with Diggs and Casal prepared him well for this project. Michael Phillips,, "Buzzworthy 'Blindspotting' completes the great Oakland film trifecta of 2018," 12 July 2018 During those years, his imagination ranged freely across the popular culture of the past, with charm and verve and, more often than not, with the benefit of Ms. Farrow’s comic poise and emotional grace. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "Is Woody Allen a Great Filmmaker? Discuss," 21 Feb. 2018 It was delivered with an exuberance and verve that capture the joy of falling in love and being alive as few other plays do – by Shakespeare or anyone else. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "American Players Theatre's comedy 'As You Like It' makes every word count," 19 June 2018 Perhaps these two have grown soft in their old age (a joke!), for their fascinators have diminished in size and verve. Jordan Amchin, Vanities, "The Most Memorable, Bizarre, and Fetching Fascinators in Recent History," 17 May 2018 The two authors, with their insider’s perspective, capture the arduous process with great narrative verve. Marcia Bartusiak, WSJ, "‘Chasing New Horizons’ and ‘Discovering Pluto’ Reviews: Big Lessons From a Tiny World," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'verve.' 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 verve

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for verve

French, from Middle French, caprice, from Old French, word, gossip, from Vulgar Latin *verva, from Latin verba, plural of verbum word — more at word

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Statistics for verve

Last Updated

17 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for verve

The first known use of verve was in 1697

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English Language Learners Definition of verve

: great energy and enthusiasm

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to make amends

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