1. Energy and enthusiasm in the expression of ideas, especially in artistic performance or composition: The revival lacked the verve of the original musical.
2. Vitality; liveliness. See Synonyms at vigor.
3. Archaic Literary aptitude or talent.
[French, from Old French, fanciful expression, probably from Vulgar Latin *verva, from Latin verba, pl. of verbum, word; see wer-5 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.