verbal

[ vur-buhl ]
/ ˈvɜr bəl /

adjective

noun

Grammar.
  1. a word derived from a verb, especially one used as a noun or an adjective, as, in English, a gerund, participle, or infinitive.
  2. a word or words used in a sentence as or like a verb.

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Origin of verbal

First recorded in 1485–95; from Middle French, from Latin verbālis, equivalent to verb(um) “word, speech” + -ālis adjective sufix; see word,-al1

usage note for verbal

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.

OTHER WORDS FROM verbal

ver·bal·ly, adverbnon·ver·bal, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH verbal

verbal , verbose
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for verbal

British Dictionary definitions for verbal

verbal
/ (ˈvɜːbəl) /

adjective

noun

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 of verbal

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