Meaning of VERBAL in English

I. verb ‧ al 1 /ˈvɜːb ə l $ ˈvɜːr-/ BrE AmE adjective

1 . spoken rather than written

verbal agreement/instructions etc

2 . relating to words or using words:

verbal skills

verbal abuse (=cruel words) from other kids on the street

3 . relating to a verb:

verbal nouns

—verbally adverb :

Her boss failed to stop the other workers from verbally abusing her.

• • •


▪ spoken used about the language that people speak rather than write:

Spoken English is often less formal than written English.


I can understand classical Arabic but not spoken Arabic.

▪ oral an oral test is one in which you have to speak rather than write. Oral is also used about culture, traditions, and history that are based on spoken English rather than being written down:

We had a 15-minute oral exam in German.


Anglo-Saxon stories and poems were part of a largely oral culture.

▪ verbal a verbal agreement, warning, form of communication etc is spoken rather than written down:

We had a verbal agreement but no written contract.


The company have received verbal approval to begin the project.

▪ by/through word of mouth by someone telling you about something rather than by reading about it somewhere - used to say how you got some information:

He found out about the job by word of mouth.


A lot of our customers hear about us through word of mouth.

II. verbal 2 BrE AmE noun

1 . [countable] technical a word that has been formed from a verb, for example a ↑ gerund , ↑ infinitive , or ↑ participle

2 . [uncountable] relating to criticism, complaints, or an attack that you express in speech:

Maria was getting loads of verbal from her staff.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.