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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She could smile at herself again in that glass, at the colour and light and verve which had come back to her.

    Married Life May Edginton
  • The vigour and verve of these marching musicians is very surprising.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • She has all the dreamy, languid grace of the South combined with the verve and force of the North.

  • He felt anew what he had felt and seen, and he could not give any verve to the peroration of his sermon.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • The pieces themselves were almost worthless; Byron would seem to have lost his verve during the removal.

    The English Stage Augustin Filon
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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