Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of verbal
Meaning of verbal by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From the Late Latin verbalis ( “'belonging to a word” ) .


    • enPR: vûrʹ-bəl, IPA: /ˈvɜr.bəl/, X-SAMPA: /"v3r.b@l/
      • ( UK ) IPA: [ˈvɜː.bəɫ], X-SAMPA: ["v3:.b@5]
      • ( US ) IPA: [ˈvɜ˞.bəɫ], X-SAMPA: ["v3`.b@5]
    • Rhymes: -ɜː( r )bəl
    • Hyphenation: ver‧bal


    verbal ( not comparable )

    1. Of, or relating to words .
    2. Concerned with the words, rather than the substance of a text .
    3. Consisting of words only .
    4. Expressly spoken or written, as opposed to implied .
    5. ( grammar ) Derived from, or having the nature of a verb .
    6. ( grammar ) Used to form a verb .
    7. Capable of speech.


    Derived terms


    verbal ( plural: verbals )

    1. ( grammar ) A verb form which does not function as a predicate, or a word derived from a verb. In English, infinitives, participles and gerunds are verbals .


    verbal ( third-person singular simple present verbals present participle verballing, simple past and past participle verballed )

    1. ( transitive, UK, Australian ) To fabricate a confession

Explanation of verbal by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. communicated in the form of words

    2. verbal imagery
      a verbal protest
    3. prolix

    4. you put me to forget a lady's manners by being so verbal- Shakespeare
    5. relating to or having facility in the use of words

    6. a good poet is a verbal artist
      a merely verbal writer who sacrifices content to sound
      verbal aptitude
    7. expressed in spoken words

    8. a verbal contract
    9. of or relating to or formed from a verb

    10. verbal adjectives like `running' in `hot and cold running water'
    11. of or relating to or formed from words in general

    12. verbal ability

    Definition of verbal by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Verbal a. [F., fr. L. verbalis. See Verb.]
      1. Expressed in words, whether spoken or written, but commonly in spoken words; hence, spoken; oral; not written; as, “a verbal contract; verbal testimony.”

      Made she no verbal question? Shak.

      We subjoin an engraving . . . which will give the reader a far better notion of the structure than any verbal description could convey to the mind. Mayhew.

      2. Consisting in, or having to do with, words only; dealing with words rather than with the ideas intended to be conveyed; as, “a verbal critic; a verbal change”.

      And loses, though but verbal, his reward. Milton.

      Mere verbal refinements, instead of substantial knowledge. Whewell.

      3. Having word answering to word; word for word; literal; as, “a verbal translation”.

      4. Abounding with words; verbose. [Obs.] Shak.

      5. ( Gram. ) Of or pertaining to a verb; as, “a verbal group”; derived directly from a verb; as, “a verbal noun”; used in forming verbs; as, “a verbal prefix”.

      Verbal inspiration. See under Inspiration. -- Verbal noun ( Gram. ), a noun derived directly from a verb or verb stem; a verbal. The term is specifically applied to infinitives, and nouns ending in -ing, esp. to the latter. See Gerund, and -ing, 2. See also, Infinitive mood, under Infinitive.

    2. Verbal, n. ( Gram. ) A noun derived from a verb.