Public Works and Government Services Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links

 
Search TERMIUM Plus®
To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

oral, verbal

Verbal (from Latin verbum, meaning "word") refers to any words, whether spoken or written.

  • Verbal communication includes both speech and writing.
  • Non-verbal forms of communication use no words; they include sign language and body language.

Therefore, careful writers use oral to refer specifically to spoken words.

  • Inez hoped there would be an oral exam: she disliked writing under pressure.

More and more, however, we see verbal used instead of oral, especially in the case of verbal contracts and verbal evidence.

  • These are the police officer’s notes, based on the witness’s verbal (or oral) statement.
  • Now that we have verbal agreement, would you please draw up a contract.
  • Do you rely on verbal or visual cues to assess a person’s truthfulness?