\ 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 Devin and Maren are both, for lack of a nicer turn of phrase, profoundly corny dingbats, while Khadija always reads more like a plot device than a person, and the contempt that the book has for its characters gives it a brisk, brusque verve. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Leigh Stein's Self Care and the Death of the Girlboss," 1 July 2020 But this summer’s top activity, biking, requires more verve than sitting or sipping a cocktail, and least one thing to keep you safe: a helmet. Sara Hendricks, USA TODAY, "10 great bike helmets to get right now," 23 June 2020 The team has moved the ball, crisply and with verve, the entire way. Bruce Jenkins,, "Warriors’ future is bright, but don’t get carried away," 7 Mar. 2020 The tenor Rodell Rosel brought verve and flair to the malicious yet bungling Monostatos. New York Times, "Review: Fresh Talent Fuels ‘The Magic Flute’ at the Met," 16 Dec. 2019 Morris has been in good form for both the USA and Seattle, while Boyd showed flashes of his skill and attacking verve during the Gold Cup and remains an intriguing player. Brian Straus,, "USMNT Nations League Squad: Berhalter Sticks With Continuity, Dest Absent," 2 Oct. 2019 But Selah and the Spades is less formally ambitious and more accessible in its narrative goals, charting this queen bee's descent into darkness with stylistic verve while never quite pushing her past the point of no return. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to stream (and skip) on Netflix and Amazon Prime this weekend," 17 Apr. 2020 Conductor James Gaffigan leads the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the latter prepared by Michael Black, with verve. Howard Reich,, "Lyric Opera review: A ‘Don Giovanni’ for the #MeToo era — who is far more monster than charmer," 15 Nov. 2019 Didion, who long ago contributed to National Review and in 1964 voted for Barry Goldwater, here exemplified an analytical acuity, stylistic verve and unenthralled mentality that conservatism, like other persuasions, rarely attains. George F. Will, New York Times, "The Mind of Conservatism," 1 Apr. 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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Time Traveler for verve

Time Traveler

The first known use of verve was in 1697

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Statistics for verve

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Verve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for verve


How to pronounce verve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of verve

: great energy and enthusiasm

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More from Merriam-Webster on verve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for verve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with verve

Spanish Central: Translation of verve

Nglish: Translation of verve for Spanish Speakers

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