- any member of a class of words that function as the main elements of predicates, that typically express action, state, or a relation between two things, and that may be inflected for tense, aspect, voice, mood, and to show agreement with their subject or object.
- (in traditional grammar) any of a large class of words in a language that serve to indicate the occurrence or performance of an action, the existence of a state or condition, etc. In English, such words as run, make, do, and the like are verbs
- (in modern descriptive linguistic analysis)
- a word or group of words that functions as the predicate of a sentence or introduces the predicate
- (as modifier)a verb phrase
late 14c., from Old French verbe “part of speech that expresses action or being,” from Latin verbum “verb,” originally “a word,” from PIE root *were- (cf. Avestan urvata- “command;” Sanskrit vrata- “command, vow;” Greek rhetor “public speaker,” rhetra “agreement, covenant,” eirein “to speak, say;” Hittite weriga- “call, summon;” Lithuanian vardas “name;” Gothic waurd, Old English word “word”).
A word that represents an action or a state of being. Go, strike, travel, and exist are examples of verbs. A verb is the essential part of the predicate of a sentence. The grammatical forms of verbs include number, person, and tense. (See auxiliary verb, infinitive, intransitive verb, irregular verb, participle, regular verb, and transitive verb.)