What does it mean?
Verbatim comes from Medieval Latin, with its earliest recorded use in the late 15th century. It comes from the Latin ‘verbum,’ which, in the singular, means ‘word.’ In the plural, it refers to general speech.
‘Verbatim’ is perhaps not as common in everyday speech as some of the other Latin terms we have covered. It is more often used in a formal, scholarly or legal context, therefore improper everyday use is rare.
It can be used in any sentence when describing a situation where speech has been copied word for word. It can also be used to describe a person who is able to copy speech or the written word perfectly. Some examples of its use would be:
‘I typed up his dictation verbatim, as requested.’
‘He copied her essay verbatim because he couldn’t write his own.’
‘He can remember and repeat everything you say verbatim. How clever!’
Stay tuned for more Latin expressions in modern use.