The Meaning of Verbiage: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of verbiage? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word verbiage, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word verbiage mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word verbiage is a noun that refers to an excess of words in written prose or spoken speech. This is beyond what is necessary to express concisely what it means, or an overabundance or superfluity of words. The word verbiage, in American English, can also refer to some style of expression or diction. The word verbiage has two syllables – verb-i-age, and the pronunciation of verbiage is ˈvɜrbiˌɪdʒ. Many times, this word is misspelled as verbage.

Excess verbiage can make text difficult to read or make speeches difficult to listen to. A lot of superfluous verbiage or unnecessary verbiage can make it take a long time for someone to get their point across. This is why people may use concise military verbiage or shorthand to express things quickly and easily. The use of words and jargon in a verbose way eliminated clarity and precision. Excessive wordiness often makes little sense, and one should eliminate much verbiage aside from what is a necessity. Many different sources such as Strunk & White have released a manual of official verbiage. 

Many other languages also contain words that mean verbiage. You may notice that many of these words look and sound similar to the word verbiage. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases that mean the same thing as well as look and sound similar between languages. These are often formed when two words have the same root word or language of origin like Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word verbiage is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Cyrillic: пра̏зносло̄вље‎ (neut.)
  •  Spanish: verborrea‎ (fem.)
  •  Finnish: sanahelinä‎, sanapaljous‎
  •  Portuguese: verbalizar‎
  •  Russian: многосло́вие‎ (neut.), пустосло́вие‎ (neut.), словоблу́дие‎ (neut.)
  •  Norwegian: ordgyteri‎ (neut.)
  •  Roman: prȁznoslōvlje‎ (neut.)
  •  French: verbiage‎
  •  Dutch: woordenvloed‎
  •  Polish: gadanina‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the word verbiage?

According to Etymonline, the word verbiage has been used since 1721 to refer to an abundance of words. This comes from the c17 French verbiage, meaning wordiness. This word comes from the French verbier, a verb meaning to chatter, from the Old French verbe meaning word. This comes from the Latin verbum meaning word. This could also come from the Middle French verbier meaning  to warble, twitter, or prattle (a variant of earlier verboier) and the Old French guerbler meaning to sing in a certain way.

How can the word verbiage be used in a sentence?

There are many different ways a person can use the word verbiage in a sentence. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definition and expand your vocabulary. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are a few examples of the word verbiage to get you started.

Werbler prattled on and on during his speeches at Stanford and Princeton University. He was supposed to engage the students and excite them about his lecture topic, but his excessive verbiage made it difficult to pay attention.

The authors of content published in the book were a collection of hopeless babblers whose stories rambled on and on, inserting excess verbiage for the sake of it. There were so many descriptors, it was difficult to discern a plot from any of the writings.

The verbiage of the 1960s and ‘70s might seem odd to us today, but if you think about it, our slang terms would seem strange to them as well! It is interesting to see how language evolves over time.

The news articles had far too much verbiage to discern a meaning from them. It seemed that each paragraph had a different meaning, and even the summary of the article did not relate to the previous paragraphs. It needed serious editing.

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word verbiage?

There are many different words and phrases that a person can use in place of the word verbiage. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying not to repeat yourself in conversation or a written work, as well as if you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word verbiage is provided by Thesaurus

  •  repeat
  •  iterance
  •  rehearsal
  •  rote
  •  reiteration
  •  tautology
  •  long-windedness
  •  garrulity
  •  logorrhea
  •  grandiloquence
  •  practice
  •  reproduction
  •  alliteration
  •  periodicity
  •  ingemination
  •  circumlocution
  •  renewal
  •  litany
  •  staccato
  •  recurrence
  •  verbosity
  •  copy
  •  repetitiousness
  •  recapitulation
  •  repetition
  •  redundancy
  •  chant
  •  encore
  •  expansiveness
  •  paraphrase
  •  chorus
  •  recital
  •  return
  •  report
  •  loquacity
  •  prolixity
  •  relation
  •  echo
  •  pleonasm
  •  restatement
  •  broken record
  •  reappearance
  •  periphrasis
  •  wordiness
  •  perseveration
  •  periphrase
  •  reoccurrence
  •  replication
  •  floridity
  •  rhythm
  •  iteracy
  •  iteration

There are also numerous different words that mean the opposite of the word verbiage. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are another great tool to use to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word verbiage is provided by Thesaurus as well. 

  •  succinctness
  •  crispness
  •  concision
  •  impermanence
  •  curtness
  •  pointedness
  •  economy
  •  pithiness
  •  ephemerality
  •  brevity
  •  conciseness
  •  terseness
  •  condensation
  •  transience
  •  transitoriness

Overall, the word verbiage refers to the superabundance of words or the use of many words. This could include any parts of speech, including adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, adjectives, and more. It is difficult to discern much meaning from the use of verbiage. This is a Middle French word that has been used in the United States in American English for a long time. 


  1. verbiage: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. verbiage | Origin and meaning of verbiage | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  3. VERBIAGE Synonyms: 13 Synonyms & Antonyms for VERBIAGE | Thesaurus 
  4. CONCISENESS Synonyms: 16 Synonyms & Antonyms for CONCISENESS | Thesaurus 
  5. Verbiage definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary