verbose (adj.) Look up verbose at
"wordy," 1670s, from Latin verbosus "full of words, wordy," from verbum "word" (see verb). Related: Verbosely (c. 1400); verboseness.
verbosity (n.) Look up verbosity at
1540s, from French verbosité (16c.) or directly from Late Latin verbositas, from Latin verbosus (see verbose).
verboten (adj.) Look up verboten at
1912, German, "forbidden," from Old High German farbiotan "to forbid," cognate with forbid (q.v.).
verdant (adj.) Look up verdant at
1580s, "green in color; green with vegetation," from Middle French virdeant "becoming green," present participle of Old French verdeiier "become green," from Vulgar Latin *viridiare "grow green, make green," from Latin viridis "green" (see verdure). Related: Verdantly; verdancy.
verdict (n.) Look up verdict at
1530s, alteration of Middle English verdit (c. 1300), "a jury's decision in a case," from Anglo-French verdit (Old French voirdit) "sworn testimony, affidavit; judgment, written record of a verdict," literally "a true saying or report," from ver, veir "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy") + dit, past participle of dire "to say" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly"). Spelling influenced by Medieval Latin verdictum "a verdict."
verdigris (n.) Look up verdigris at
c. 1300, vertegrez, from Old French verte grez (13c.), verte de Grece (late 12c.), literally "green of Greece," from obsolete French verd, from Latin viridis (see verdure). The reason for it being called that is not known. In other languages, "green of Spain" (German grünspan, Danish spanskgrönt, Dutch spaansch-groen), from Medieval Latin viride Hispanum. Current spelling in English is from 1789. In chemistry, confined to a basic copper acetate; popularly applied to the green encrustation on copper or brass exposed to the air.
verdure (n.) Look up verdure at
late 14c., "fresh green color," from Old French verdure "greenness, greenery, green fields, herbs," from verd, variant of vert "green" (12c.), from Latin viridis (source of Spanish, Italian verde), related to virere "be green," of unknown origin. Perhaps ultimately from a root meaning "growing plant" and cognate with Lithuanian veisti "propagate," Old Norse visir "bud, sprout," Old English wise "sprout, stalk, etc." Meaning "green plants, vegetation" is attested from c. 1400.
verdurous (adj.) Look up verdurous at
c. 1600, from verdure + -ous.
verge (n.) Look up verge at
"edge, rim," mid-15c., from Old French verge "twig, branch; measuring rod; penis; rod or wand of office" (12c.), hence, from the last sense, "scope, territory dominated" (as in estre suz la verge de "be under the authority of"), from Latin virga "shoot, rod, stick, slender green branch," of unknown origin.

Earliest attested sense in English is now-obsolete meaning "male member, penis" (c. 1400). Modern sense is from the notion of within the verge (c. 1500, also as Anglo-French dedeinz la verge), i.e. "subject to the Lord High Steward's authority" (as symbolized by the rod of office), originally a 12-mile radius round the king's court. Sense shifted to "the outermost edge of an expanse or area." Meaning "point at which something happens" (as in on the verge of) is first attested c. 1600. "A very curious sense development." [Weekley]
verge (v.1) Look up verge at
"tend, incline," c. 1600, from Latin vergere "to bend, turn, tend toward, incline," from PIE *werg- "to turn," from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." Influenced by verge (v.2) "provide with a border" (c. 1600); "be adjacent to" (1787), from verge (n.). Related: Verged; verging.
vergence (n.) Look up vergence at
1902 in ophthalmology, from verge (v.) + -ence. From 1660s as "fact or condition of being inclined" (toward something). Related: Vergency.
verger (n.) Look up verger at
"one who carries a verge as an officer of the church," c. 1400, probably from Anglo-French *verger, from verge (see verge (n.)).
veridical (adj.) Look up veridical at
"speaking truth," 1650s, from Latin veridicus "truth-telling, truthful," from verum "truth," neuter of verus "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy") + dic-, stem of dicere "to speak" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly"). Probably based on French véridique. Related: Veridically.
verifiable (adj.) Look up verifiable at
1590s, from verify + -able. Related: Verifiably; verifiability.
verification (n.) Look up verification at
1520s, from Medieval Latin *verificationem (nominative verificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of verificare (see verify). Middle English had verifiaunce "confirmation, corroboration" (c. 1400).
verify (v.) Look up verify at
early 14c., from Old French verifier "substantiate, find out the truth about" (14c.), from Medieval Latin verificare "make true," from Latin verus "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy") + comb. form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
verily (adv.) Look up verily at
"in truth," early 14c., from Middle English verray "true, real" (see very) + -ly (2).
verisimilitude (n.) Look up verisimilitude at
"appearance of truth or reality, likelihood," c. 1600, from French verisimilitude (1540s), from Latin verisimilitudo "likeness to truth," from veri, genitive of verum, neuter of verus "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy") + similis "like, resembling, of the same kind" (see similar). Related: Verisimilar.
verism (n.) Look up verism at
"the theory that art and literature should strictly reproduce truth," 1892, from Italian verismo, from vero "truth," from Latin verus "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy") + -ismo, Italian form of -ism.
veritable (adj.) Look up veritable at
early 15c., from Anglo-French and Old French veritable "true, real, truthful, valid (in law)," from verité (see verity) + -able. Probably lost mid-17c. and reborrowed or revived after 1830. Related: Veritably.
veritas (n.) Look up veritas at
Latin, literally "truth, truthfulness," from verus "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy"). Latin phrase in vino veritas (1590s in English; "in wine, truth," that is, "the truth comes out when one has been drinking") is attributed to Pliny the Elder, though there is a Greek version of it.
verity (n.) Look up verity at
late 14c., from Anglo-French and Old French verite "truth, sincerity, loyalty" (12c.), from Latin veritatem (nominative veritas) "truth, truthfulness," from verus "true" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy"). Modern French vérité, literally "truth," was borrowed into English 1966 as a term for naturalism or realism in film, etc.
vermeil (adj.) Look up vermeil at
"bright-red," late 14c., from Anglo-French and Old French vermail, vermeil "bright-red, scarlet, crimson" (11c. in Old French), from Late Latin vermiculus "a little worm," specifically, the cochineal insect from which crimson dyes were obtained (compare kermes), in classical Latin, "larva of an insect, grub, maggot," diminutive of vermis "worm" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). As a noun in English from 1590s.
vermicelli (n.) Look up vermicelli at
kind of pasta, 1660s, literally "little worms," from Italian vermicelli, plural of vermicello, diminutive of verme, accusative singular of Latin vermis "worm," from PIE *wrmi- "worm," from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." So called for resemblance.
vermicular (adj.) Look up vermicular at
1650s, from Medieval Latin vermicularis, from Latin vermiculus "little worm," from vermis "worm," from PIE *wrmi- "worm," from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."
vermiculation (n.) Look up vermiculation at
1610s, from Latin vermiculationem (nominative vermiculatio), noun of action from vermiculari, from vermiculus (see vermicular).
vermiculite (n.) Look up vermiculite at
micaceous mineral, 1814, from Latin vermiculari (from vermiculus, diminutive of vermis "worm," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend") + -ite. So called from its reaction when heated.
vermiform (adj.) Look up vermiform at
"worm-shaped, worm-like in form," 1730, from Modern Latin vermiformis, from Latin vermis "worm" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend") + forma "form" (see form (n.)).
vermilion (n.) Look up vermilion at
late 13c., "cinnabar, red dye," from Anglo-French and Old French vermeillon "red lead, cinnabar, (cosmetic) rouge" (12c.), from vermeil (see vermeil). As an adjective, from 1580s.
vermin (n.) Look up vermin at
c. 1300, "noxious animals," from Anglo-French and Old French vermin "moth, worm, mite," in plural "troublesome creatures" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *verminum "vermin," possibly including bothersome insects, collective noun formed from Latin vermis "worm" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Extended to "low, obnoxious people" by 1560s.
verminous (adj.) Look up verminous at
1610s, from vermin + -ous or else from Latin verminosus.
Vermont Look up Vermont at
U.S. state, 1777, based on French words for "Green Mountain," but perhaps was formed by one with limited knowledge of French, where the correct form would be Mont Vert (as in the village of Pont-de-Montvert). Related: Vermonter.
vermouth (n.) Look up vermouth at
white wine flavored with aromatic herbs, 1806, from French vermouth (18c.), from German Wermuth "wormwood," from Middle High German wermuot, from Old High German wermuota (see wormwood), name of the aromatic herb formerly used in the flavoring of the liqueur.
vernacular (adj.) Look up vernacular at
c. 1600, "native to a country," from Latin vernaculus "domestic, native, indigenous; pertaining to home-born slaves," from verna "home-born slave, native," a word of Etruscan origin. Used in English in the sense of Latin vernacula vocabula, in reference to language. As a noun, "native speech or language of a place," from 1706.
For human speech is after all a democratic product, the creation, not of scholars and grammarians, but of unschooled and unlettered people. Scholars and men of education may cultivate and enrich it, and make it flower into the beauty of a literary language; but its rarest blooms are grafted on a wild stock, and its roots are deep-buried in the common soil. [Logan Pearsall Smith, "Words and Idioms," 1925]
vernal (adj.) Look up vernal at
"pertaining to spring," 1530s, from Late Latin vernalis "of the spring," from vernus "of spring," from Latin ver "the spring, spring-time," from PIE *wesr- "the spring" (source also of Old Norse var "spring," Greek ear, Armenian gar-un, Sanskrit vasantah, Persian bahar, Old Church Slavonic vesna "spring," Lithuanian vasara "summer").
vernier (n.) Look up vernier at
device for making precise measurements, 1766, from name of inventor, French mathematician Pierre Vernier (1580-1637), who described it in 1631.
Verona Look up Verona at
city in northern Italy, Celtic Vernomago, from verno "elder tree" + mago "field, place." Related: Veronese.
Veronica Look up Veronica at
fem. proper name, French Veronique, a variant of Greek Berenike (see Berenice). The popular "Saint Veronica" (not in the Roman Martyrology) traditionally was a pious woman who wiped the face of Christ when he fell carrying the cross to Calvary. The image of his face remained on the cloth, and the "veil of Veronica" has been preserved in Rome from the 8c. Her popularity rose with the propagation of the Stations of the Cross, and this connection led to the folk-etymology derivation of the name from Latin vera "true" + Greek eikon "image." Some also identified her with the woman with the issue of blood, cured by Christ, as in the East this woman was identified from an early date by the name Berenike. Hence vernicle (mid-14c.) "picture of the face of Christ," from Old French veronicle, variant of veronique "St. Veronica's cloth."
verruca (n.) Look up verruca at
1560s, from Latin verruca "a wart; a hillock," also "a fault, failing," a word of uncertain origin. De Vaan suggests it is from a PIE word meaning "height, top," and compares Old Irish ferr "better," Sanskrit varsman- "height, top," Lithuanian viršus, Russian verx "top, upper part." Related: Verrucose.
vers libre (n.) Look up vers libre at
1902, from French, literally "free verse," lines of varying length.
I remarked some years ago, in speaking of vers libre, that 'no vers is libre for the man who wants to do a good job.' The term, which fifty years ago had an exact meaning in relation to the French alexandrine, now means too much to mean anything at all. [T.S. Eliot, introduction to "Selected Poems of Ezra Pound," 1928]
Versailles Look up Versailles at
place outside Paris, of uncertain origin; perhaps from Latin versus "slope." Louis XIII built a hunting lodge there; made into a palace 17c. by Louis XIV.
versant (adj.) Look up versant at
1640s, "busy" (with something), from Latin versantem (nominative versans), present participle of versare, literally "to turn often," frequentative of vertere "to turn," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." Meaning "familiar, acquainted" is from 1787.
versatile (adj.) Look up versatile at
c. 1600, "inconstant," from Latin versatilis "turning, revolving, moving, capable of turning with ease to varied subjects or tasks," from past participle stem of versare "keep turning, be engaged in something, turn over in the mind," frequentative of vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Meaning "able to do many things well" is from 1762 in English.
versatility (n.) Look up versatility at
1755, "fickleness," from versatile + -ity. As "ability to do many things well" from 1798.
verse (n.) Look up verse at
late Old English (replacing Old English fers, an early West Germanic borrowing directly from Latin), "line or section of a psalm or canticle," later "line of poetry" (late 14c.), from Anglo-French and Old French vers "line of verse; rhyme, song," from Latin versus "a line, row, line of verse, line of writing," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." The metaphor is of plowing, of "turning" from one line to another (vertere = "to turn") as a plowman does.
Verse was invented as an aid to memory. Later it was preserved to increase pleasure by the spectacle of difficulty overcome. That it should still survive in dramatic art is a vestige of barbarism. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
The English New Testament first was divided fully into verses in the Geneva version (1550s). Meaning "metrical composition" is recorded from c. 1300; as the non-repeating part of a modern song (between repetitions of the chorus) by 1918.
The Negroes say that in form their old songs usually consist in what they call "Chorus and Verses." The "chorus," a melodic refrain sung by all, opens the song; then follows a verse sung as a solo, in free recitative; the chorus is repeated; then another verse; chorus again;--and so on until the chorus, sung for the last time, ends the song. [Natalie Curtis-Burlin, "Negro Folk-Songs," 1918]
versed (adj.) Look up versed at
"practiced, conversant, acquainted," c. 1600, from past participle of obsolete verse "to turn over" (a book, subject, etc.) in study or investigation, from Middle French verser "to turn, revolve" as in meditation (12c.), from Latin versare "be employed, busy oneself," literally "to turn to, turn often; think over," frequentative of vertere "to turn," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."
versification (n.) Look up versification at
c. 1600, from Latin versificationem (nominative versificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of versificare (see versify).
versify (v.) Look up versify at
late 14c., "compose verse, write poetry, make verses," from Old French versifier "turn into verse" (13c.), from Latin versificare "compose verse; put into verse," from versus "verse" (see verse) + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Transitive sense of "put into verse" in English is from 1735. Related: Versified; versifying; versifier (mid-14c.).
version (n.) Look up version at
1580s, "a translation," from Middle French version, from Medieval Latin versionem (nominative versio) "a turning, a translation," from past participle stem of Latin vertere "to turn, turn back, be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Also with a Middle English sense of "destruction;" the meaning "particular form of a description" is first attested 1788.
verso (n.) Look up verso at
"reverse, back, or other side of some object," especially a printed page or book, 1839, from Latin verso (folio), ablative singular neuter of versus, past participle of vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend").