What does it mean?

Many of us recognise the Verbatim as the name of a company which produces memory and media storage products. The term act719083ually means ‘word for word,’ or ‘direct quotation.’


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.

Improper use

‘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.

Proper use

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.