Pronunciation Noun

verb (plural verbs)

  1. (grammar) A word that indicates an action, event, or state.
    The word “speak” is an English verb.
  2. (obsolete) Any word; a vocable.
  3. (figurative) An action as opposed to a trait or thing.
    Kindness is a verb, not an adjective. You're only kind if you do kind things.
  4. (programming) A named command that performs a specific operation on an object.
    • 1995, Adam Denning, OLE Controls Inside Out (page 321)
      You can invoke the Properties OLE verb in many ways. The easiest way is to move the mouse over the border of the control until it becomes only a four-way pointer and then right-click.
Translations Verb

verb (verbs, present participle verbing; past and past participle verbed)

  1. (transitive, nonstandard, colloquial) To use any word that is not, or had not been a verb (especially a noun) as if it were a verb.
    • a. 1981 Feb 22, unknown Guardian editor as quoted by William Safire, On Language, in New York Times, pSM3
      Haig, in congressional hearings before his confirmatory, paradoxed his auditioners by abnormalling his responds so that verbs were nouned, nouns verbed and adjectives adverbised. He techniqued a new way to vocabulary his thoughts so as to informationally uncertain anybody listening about what he had actually implicationed... .
    • 1993 January 25, Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
      I like to verb words.... I take nouns and adjectives and use them as verbs. Remember when "access" was a thing? Now it's something you DO. It got verbed. Verbing weirds language.
    • 1997, David. F. Griffiths, Desmond J. Higham, learning LATEX, p8
      Nouns should never be verbed.
    • 2005 Oct 5, Jeffrey Mattison, Letters, in The Christian Science Monitor, p8
      In English, verbing nouns is okay
  2. (used as a neutral, unspecific verb, often in linguistics and the social sciences) To perform any action that is normally expressed by a verb.
    • 1946: Rand Corporation, The Rand Paper Series
      For example, one-part versions of the proposition "The doctor pursued the lawyer" were "The doctor verbed the object," ...
    • 1964: Journal of Mathematical Psychology
      Each sentence had the same basic structure: The subject transitive verbed the object who intransitive verbed in the location.
    • 1998: Marilyn A. Walker, Aravind Krishna Joshi, Centering Theory in Discourse
      The sentence frame was Dan verbed Ben approaching the store. This sentence frame was followed in all cases by He went inside.