AskDefine | Define verbal

Dictionary Definition

verbal adj
1 communicated in the form of words; "verbal imagery"; "a verbal protest"
2 of or relating to or formed from words in general; "verbal ability"
3 of or relating to or formed from a verb; "verbal adjectives like `running' in `hot and cold running water'"
4 relating to or having facility in the use of words; "a good poet is a verbal artist"; "a merely verbal writer who sacrifices content to sound"; "verbal aptitude" [ant: numerical]
5 expressed in spoken words; "a verbal contract"
6 prolix; "you put me to forget a lady's manners by being so verbal"- Shakespeare

User Contributed Dictionary



From the verbalis.



  1. Of, or relating to words.
  2. Concerned with the words, rather than the substance of a text.
  3. Consisting of words only.
  4. Expressly spoken or written, as opposed to implied.
  5. Derived from, or having the nature of a verb.
  6. Used to form a verb.
  7. Spoken and not written; oral.


of, or relating to words


  1. A verb form which does not function as a predicate, or a word derived from a verb. In English, infinitives, participles and gerunds are verbals.




  1. In the context of "transitive|Australia": To fabricate a confession
    • 1982, John A. Andrews, Human Rights in Criminal Procedure: A Comparative Study, ISBN 9024725526, BRILL, page 128
      "The problem of verballing is unlikely to disappear, whatever the legal status of the person detained."
    • 2001, Chris Cunneen, Conflict, Politics and Crime: Aboriginal Communities and the Police, ISBN 1864487194, Allen & Unwin, page 116
      "Condren had always claimed that he was assaulted and verballed by police over the murder he had supposedly confessed to committing."
    • 2004, Jeremy Gans & Andrew Palmer, Australian Principles of Evidence, ISBN 1876905123, Routledge Cavendish, page 504
      "Moreover, given the risk of verballing, it is by no means apparent that it is in the interests of justice that the prosecution have the benefit of admissions that are made on occasions when recordings are impracticable."

Extensive Definition

Verbal may mean:
verbal in French: Verbe (homonymie)
verbal in Russian: Вербальный

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adjectival, adverbial, answering, articulated, attributive, authentic, bona fide, candid, card-carrying, colloquial, communicating, communicational, communional, conjunctive, conversational, copulative, correct, dinkum, enunciated, expressed, following the letter, formal, functional, genuine, glossematic, good, grammatic, honest, honest-to-God, iconic, inartificial, interacting, interactional, interactive, intercommunicational, intercommunicative, intercommunional, interresponsive, interrogative, interrogatory, intransitive, lawful, legitimate, lexemic, lexical, lifelike, lingual, linguistic, linking, literal, morphemic, natural, naturalistic, nominal, nuncupative, oral, original, parol, participial, phrasal, postpositional, prepositional, pronominal, pronounced, pure, questioning, real, realistic, responsive, rightful, said, semantic, semantological, semasiological, sememic, semiotic, simon-pure, simple, sincere, sounded, speech, spoken, sterling, structural, substantive, sure-enough, symbolic, syntactic, tagmemic, telepathic, traditional, transitive, transmissional, true to life, true to nature, true to reality, unadulterated, unaffected, unassumed, unassuming, uncolored, unconcocted, uncopied, uncounterfeited, undisguised, undisguising, undistorted, unexaggerated, unfabricated, unfanciful, unfeigned, unfeigning, unfictitious, unflattering, unimagined, unimitated, uninvented, unpretended, unpretending, unqualified, unromantic, unsimulated, unspecious, unsynthetic, unvarnished, unwritten, uttered, verbatim, veridical, verisimilar, viva voce, vocabular, vocabulary, vocal, vocalized, voiced, voiceful, word, word-for-word, word-of-mouth
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