Quick Summary

The Latin root word verb means “word.” This Latin root is the word origin of a good number of English vocabulary words, including verb, adverb, and proverb. The Latin root word verb is easily recalled through the English word verb, for a verb is simply a “word” which tells what’s going on in a sentence, usually an action of some sort.

Verb's the Word

The Latin root word verb means “word.” Here follows a good sampling of “words” that will help you remember that verb means “word!”

OK, let’s get the grammar over with first, although the two parts of speech that I’m going to talk about will be much easier to remember once you realize that they both contain the Latin root verb meaning “word.” First of all, a verb is simply a “word” that tells you what’s going on in a sentence, usually expressing an action. Can you guess which part of speech is often paired with a verb to describe it? Yes, that’s right, an adverb, which is a “word” which sits near a “verb” to describe it, such as eating noisily, talking quietly, or sleeping soundly. An adverb is also a “word” which can sit near an adjective to describe it, such as highly silly, really ridiculous, or very smart.

Have you ever noticed that some people tend to be highly verbal, that is, they love to talk, and, by extension, use a lot, and I mean a lot of “words?” Such people love to verbalize their thoughts, or express them in “words” for everyone to hear. Some people who are especially verbal or into verbalization tend to be verbose or chock full of “words” or “wordy,” that is, they use too many “words” in their speech or writing. And, speaking of writing, the types, style, or manner of words one uses is the verbiage that is being employed; verbiage can also refer to the excessive use of “words,” such as being verbose.

Not everyone is full of hot air, however. Someone who voices a proverb, or wise “word” put forth, is expressing wisdom accessible for the good of all. Luckily, those with perfect memories can recite these proverbs verbatim, or “word” for “word.” One cannot have enough proverbial wisdom floating around!

And now a little bit of “word” history: when the word verve was originally formed, it referred to an energetic verbal expression; today verve means “enthusiasm, energy, or spirit.” Note that Grimm’s Law states that the “v” of verve is interchangeable with the “b” of verb, so the word police won’t come after us.

I hope that you too shall now express more enthusiasm and wisdom when it relates to your knowledge of “words” with the root word verb in them!

  1. verb: “word” that indicates an action in a sentence
  2. adverb: “word” that sits near a verb or adjective to describe it
  3. verbal: relating to “words”
  4. verbalize: express ideas in “words”
  5. verbose: too full of “words”
  6. verbiage: manner or style of “words” used
  7. proverb: wise “word” put forth
  8. verbatim: “word” for “word”
  9. verve: originally an energetic use of “words”


  • verbose

    Something that is verbose, such as a speech or article, contains too many words.

  • verbatim

    If you repeat something verbatim, you use the same words that were spoken or written.

  • verbiage

    Verbiage is an excessive use of words to convey something that could be expressed using fewer words; it can also be the manner or style in which someone uses words.

  • proverbial

    Something that is proverbial is very well-known, famous, or known for its wisdom.

  • adverb

    the word class that qualifies verbs or clauses

  • adverbial

    of or relating to or functioning as an adverb

  • proverb

    a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people

  • verb

    the word class that serves as the predicate of a sentence

  • verbal

    communicated in the form of words

  • verbalization

    the words that are spoken in the activity of verbalization

  • verbalize

    be verbose

  • verbosity

    an expressive style that uses excessive or empty words

  • verve

    an energetic style

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