1. Of, relating to, or associated with words: a detailed verbal description.
a. Concerned with words only rather than with content or ideas: a merely verbal distinction.
b. Consisting of words alone without action: a verbal confrontation.
3. Expressed in spoken rather than written words; oral: a verbal contract.
4. Corresponding word for word; literal: a verbal translation.
a. Relating to, having the nature or function of, or derived from a verb.
b. Used to form verbs: a verbal suffix.
6. Of or relating to proficiency in the use and understanding of words: a verbal aptitude test.
A verbal noun or adjective.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin verbālis, from Latin verbum, word; see VERB.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.