[ vur-buhl ]
/ ˈvɜr bəl /



Grammar. a word, particularly a noun or adjective, derived from a verb.

Origin of verbal

1485–95; < Latin verbālis, equivalent to verb(um) word (see verb) + -ālis -al1


Related forms

Can be confused

oral verbal (see usage note at the current entry)verbal verbose

Usage note

3, 4. Verbal has had the meaning “spoken” since the late 16th century and is thus synonymous with oral: He wrote a memorandum to confirm the verbal agreement. Slightly earlier, verbal had developed the meaning “expressed in words, whether spoken or written (as opposed to actions)”: Verbal support is no help without money and supplies. Although some say that the use of verbal to mean “spoken” produces ambiguity, it rarely does so. Verbal is used in this sense in all varieties of speech and writing and is fully standard. The context usually makes the meaning clear: No documents are necessary; a verbal agreement (or contract or order ) will suffice. Oral can be used instead of verbal if the context demands: My lawyer insists on a written contract because oral agreements are too difficult to enforce. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nonverbal

British Dictionary definitions for nonverbal (1 of 2)


/ (nɒnˈvɜːbəl) /


not spokenthe nonverbal signals of body movement

British Dictionary definitions for nonverbal (2 of 2)


/ (ˈvɜːbəl) /



verb -bals, -balling or -balled (tr)

slang (of the police) to implicate (someone) in a crime by quoting alleged admission of guilt in court

Derived Forms

verbally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012