1 [vurj]
the edge, rim, or margin of something: the verge of a desert; to operate on the verge of fraud.
the limit or point beyond which something begins or occurs; brink: on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
a limiting belt, strip, or border of something.
British. a narrow strip of turf bordering on a pathway, sidewalk, roadway, etc.
a decorative border, as on or around an object, structural part, etc.
limited room or scope for something: an action within the verge of one's abilities.
an area or district subject to a particular jurisdiction.
History/Historical. an area or district in England embracing the royal palace, being the jurisdiction of the Marshalsea Court.
the part of a sloping roof that projects beyond the gable wall.
Architecture. the shaft of a column or colonette.
a rod, wand, or staff, especially one carried as an emblem of authority or of the office of a bishop, dean, or the like.
Horology. a palletlike lever formerly used in inexpensive pendulum clocks.
Obsolete. a stick or wand held in the hand of a person swearing fealty to a feudal lord on being admitted as a tenant.
verb (used without object), verged, verging.
to be on the edge or margin; border: Our property verges on theirs.
to come close to or be in transition to some state, quality, etc. (usually followed by on ): a statesman who verged on greatness; a situation that verged on disaster.
verb (used with object), verged, verging.
to serve as the verge or boundary of: a high hedge verging the yard.

1350–1400; late Middle English: shaft, column, rod (hence boundary or jurisdiction symbolized by a steward's rod), Middle English: penis < Middle French: rod < Latin virga

1. brim, lip, brink. Unabridged


2 [vurj]
verb (used without object), verged, verging.
to incline; tend (usually followed by to or toward ): The economy verges toward inflation.
to slope or sink.

1600–10; < Latin vergere to turn, bend, be inclined Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To verge
World English Dictionary
verge1 (vɜːdʒ)
1.  an edge or rim; margin
2.  a limit beyond which something occurs; brink: on the verge of ecstasy
3.  (Brit) a grass border along a road
4.  an enclosing line, belt, or strip
5.  architect the edge of the roof tiles projecting over a gable
6.  architect the shaft of a classical column
7.  an enclosed space
8.  horology the spindle of a balance wheel in a vertical escapement, found only in very early clocks
9.  English legal history
 a.  the area encompassing the royal court that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Lord High Steward
 b.  a rod or wand carried as a symbol of office or emblem of authority, as in the Church
 c.  a rod held by a person swearing fealty to his lord on becoming a tenant, esp of copyhold land
vb (foll by on) (when intr, sometimes foll by on)
10.  to be near (to): to verge on chaos
11.  to serve as the edge of (something): this narrow strip verges the road
[C15: from Old French, from Latin virga rod]

verge2 (vɜːdʒ)
(intr; foll by to or towards) to move or incline in a certain direction
[C17: from Latin vergere]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"edge, rim," 1459, from M.Fr. verge "rod or wand of office," hence "scope, territory dominated," from L. virga "shoot, rod stick," of unknown origin. Earliest attested sense in Eng. is now-obsolete meaning "male member, penis" (c.1400). Modern sense is from the notion of within the verge (1509, also
as Anglo-Fr. 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 1602. "A very curious sense development." [Weekley]

"tend, incline," 1610, from L. vergere "to bend, turn, tend toward, incline," from PIE *werg- "to turn," from base *wer- "to turn, bend" (see versus). Much influenced by verge (n.) in its verbal form meaning "to be adjacent to" (1787).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

verge (vûrj)
The extreme edge or margin; a border.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with verge, also see on the verge of.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The researcher, who didn't want to be named in this column, thought he was on
  the verge of a breakthrough.
There are also newer fracking technologies that use no water on the verge of
  being commercialized.
Many say that the culture is dead, or on the verge of dying-along with the
  cattle-driver culture in general.
Hemp could be on the verge of joining the growing number of weeds that could
  power your car.
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature