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[vurv] /vɜrv/
enthusiasm or vigor, as in literary or artistic work; spirit:
Her latest novel lacks verve.
vivaciousness; liveliness; animation:
I like a teacher with plenty of verve.
Archaic. talent.
Origin of verve
1690-1700; < French: enthusiasm, whim, chatter, apparently < Latin verba words, talk, plural (taken in VL as feminine singular) of verbum word; see verb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for verve
  • It is this comic approach that gives the author the verve to pull off the final dare-devil twist at the end.
  • Viewers and creative verve are drifting steadily from broadcast to cable networks.
  • They had the verve to envisage a radically different world, but were good at inventing the practical things needed to get there.
  • Religion helped to keep the state in check and supplied some of the verve to keep on trying to change the world.
  • If your favorite reading matter comes with pictures, you may well appreciate his directorial verve.
  • At times the film has the verve to leap off the screen.
  • But the verve with which they danced never would have betrayed that.
  • He was a traveller, and has told the story of his travels with extraordinary verve.
  • As to the style, no summary or paraphrase can reproduce its picturesqueness and verve.
  • But none of these villages approaches, in sheer rococo verve, the thatch-roofed splendor of tiki.
British Dictionary definitions for verve


great vitality, enthusiasm, and liveliness; sparkle
a rare word for talent
Word Origin
C17: from Old French: garrulity, from Latin verba words, chatter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for verve

1690s, "special talent in writing," from French verve "enthusiasm" (especially pertaining to the arts), in Old French "caprice, odd humor, proverb" (12c.), probably from Gallo-Romance *verva, from Latin verba "(whimsical) words," plural of verbum "word" (see verb). Meaning "mental vigor" is first recorded 1803.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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