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verb Line breaks: verb

Definition of verb in English:


A word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as hear, become, happen.
Example sentences
  • This could be a preposition, a verb, or a noun which does not in fact count as the ‘possessor’.
  • Kanji are used in writing the main parts of a sentence such as verbs and nouns, as well as names.
  • We typically identify powers with a certain standard locution, employing the infinitives of verbs along with verb phrases.


[with object] Back to top  
Use (a word that is not conventionally used as a verb, typically a noun) as a verb: any English noun can be verbed, but some are more resistant than others (as noun verbing) I hate the verbing of that particular noun
More example sentences
  • Another interesting example of verbing nouns, this time exclusively in Australian English, is the word 'preference'.
  • I grimaced alongside him, but in truth verbing is far from new.
  • We trace this verbing of 'medal' back to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and it has been in our dictionaries since 1997.


Late Middle English: from Old French verbe or Latin verbum 'word, verb'.

  • word from Old English:

    Word is ultimately related to Latin verbum, the source of verb (Late Middle English), proverb (Middle English) the ‘pro’ here having the sense ‘put forth’, and verbal (Late Middle English). ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ are the first words of the Gospel of John, which continues: ‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth.’ To eat your words is first found in a 1571 translation of a work by the French Protestant theologian John Calvin: ‘God eateth not his word when he hath once spoken.’ A word in your ear is of similar vintage, coming from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing: ‘Come you hither sirra, a word in your ear, sir’. People sometimes say a word to the wise or a word to the wise is enough to imply that only a hint or brief explanation is required. The wording of the first English use, at the start of the 16th century, was ‘Few words may serve the wise’, although the concept was expressed much earlier than that in the Latin saying verbum sapienti sat est, sometimes shortened to verb sap.



Pronunciation: /ˈvəːbləs/
Example sentences
  • On Tuesday the prime minister employed 107 verbless sentences, a record to cherish.
  • In fact, all he offered was a verbless sentence committing him to precisely nothing: ‘So, the United Nations route.’
  • It is notable for verbless sentences, and promises which sound good while avoiding precision.

Words that rhyme with verb

acerb, blurb, curb, disturb, herb, kerb, perturb, Serb, superb

Definition of verb in:

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