or verste, werste

[ vurst, verst ]

  1. a Russian measure of distance equivalent to 3,500 feet, or 0.6629 mile (1.067 kilometers).

Origin of verst

First recorded in 1545–55; from French verste or German Werst, from Russian verstá; Old Russian vĭrsta “age, agemate, pair, measure of length,” cognate with Czech vrstva “layer, stratum, bed,” Polish warstwa “layer, coating, sheet,” Serbo-Croatian vŕsta “sort, kind, species,” Old Church Slavonic vrĭsta “age, time of life,” from unrecorded Slavic vĭrsta “turn, bend,” from the Proto-Indo-European extended root wert- “to turn, wind,” source of Latin vertere “to turn,” and English suffix -ward; see convert1, verse

Words Nearby verst Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use verst in a sentence

  • For the distance of half a verst the vehicle forced its way through a compact crowd which quickly reformed its ranks.

    My Religion | Leo Tolstoy
  • In the empty streets, every conversation could be heard a verst away; voices and footsteps re-echoed on the wooden pavement.

    The Precipice | Ivan Goncharov
  • When he had gone a verst his strength gave out, his feet were sore.

    A Russian Proprietor | Lyof N. Tolstoi
  • Its length is six hundred verst, and its peaks seem to be crushed under the heavy clouds.

  • We had marched a verst or more when thick clouds began to gather in the sky, and loud rumblings were heard.

    Fred Markham in Russia | W. H. G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for verst


/ (vɛəst, vɜːst) /

  1. a unit of length, used in Russia, equal to 1.067 kilometres (0.6629 miles)

Origin of verst

C16: from French verste or German Werst, from Russian versta line

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