\ ˈvərv How to pronounce verve (audio) \

Definition of verve

1a : the spirit and enthusiasm animating artistic composition or performance : vivacity
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 Armed with paintbrushes, poems and protest anthems, the creative classes are providing Myanmar’s mass uprising with an imaginative verve and rebellious spirit that has caught the military generals off guard. New York Times, "Paint, Poems and Protest Anthems: Myanmar’s Coup Inspires the Art of Defiance," 17 Feb. 2021 The Boston area is alive in the collection, as is the verve and force of this poet’s long career., "A new children’s book about Ona Judge, new poetry by Martín Espeda, and a biography of iconic Black feminist Dorothy Pitman Hughes," 14 Jan. 2021 Random photographers would sometimes stop him, trying to capture his style and verve. Rohan Preston, Star Tribune, "Pierce McNally, lawyer, adventurer and humanitarian, dies at 71," 11 Jan. 2021 Like much of Angell’s work, this piece is a corker—soaring with crackling energy and verve. Erin Overbey, The New Yorker, "New Yorker Classics That Resonated in 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 Better still, the film juggles interesting ideas, dramatizing them with great verve and deep feeling. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Soul’ Review: Riffing Joyously on the Theme of Life," 22 Dec. 2020 The Douro Red is an amazing value for the price; its verve and tension are stimulating, and its flavors of plums and red berries, seasoned with some wood spice and earth, can match bold foods. Washington Post, "The top 12 wine bargains of 2020 include an outstanding boxed malbec for the equivalent of $5 a bottle," 23 Dec. 2020 Each character is written with modern verve and almost stereotypically big personality traits that bring these mythical archetypes to life for a new audience. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 McGegan achieves total transparency in a spirited reading positively overflowing with verve and tenderness, and as the group’s lead soloist, associate concertmaster Peter Otto is as elegant as ever. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra covers Baroque, Christmas bases with spirited fourth ‘In Focus’ episode," 12 Dec. 2020

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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Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Verve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of verve

: great energy and enthusiasm

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