from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The extreme edge or margin; a border. See Synonyms at border.
  • n. An enclosing boundary.
  • n. The space enclosed by such a boundary.
  • n. The point beyond which an action, state, or condition is likely to begin or occur; the brink: on the verge of tears; a nation on the verge of economic prosperity.
  • n. Architecture The edge of the tiling that projects over a roof gable.
  • n. Chiefly British The shoulder of a road.
  • n. A rod, wand, or staff carried as an emblem of authority or office.
  • n. Obsolete The rod held by a feudal tenant while swearing fealty to a lord.
  • n. The spindle of a balance wheel in a clock or watch, especially such a spindle in a clock with vertical escapement.
  • n. The male organ of copulation in certain invertebrates.
  • intransitive v. To approach the nature or condition of something specified; come close. Used with on: a brilliance verging on genius.
  • intransitive v. To be on the edge or border: Her land verges on the neighboring township.
  • intransitive v. To slope or incline.
  • intransitive v. To tend to move in a particular direction: "the Neoclassicism ... away from which they subsequently verged” ( Hugh Honour).
  • intransitive v. To pass or merge gradually: dusk verging into night.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rod or staff of office, e.g. of a verger.
  • n. An edge or border.
  • n. The grassy area between the sidewalk and the street; a tree lawn.
  • n. A male rod, phallus.
  • n. An extreme limit beyond which something specific will happen.
  • v. To be or come very close; to border; to approach.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rod or staff, carried as an emblem of authority.
  • n. The stick or wand with which persons were formerly admitted tenants, they holding it in the hand, and swearing fealty to the lord. Such tenants were called tenants by the verge.
  • n. The compass of the court of Marshalsea and the Palace court, within which the lord steward and the marshal of the king's household had special jurisdiction; -- so called from the verge, or staff, which the marshal bore.
  • n. A virgate; a yardland.
  • n. A border, limit, or boundary of a space; an edge, margin, or brink of something definite in extent.
  • n. A circumference; a circle; a ring.
  • n.
  • n. The shaft of a column, or a small ornamental shaft.
  • n. The edge of the tiling projecting over the gable of a roof.
  • n. The spindle of a watch balance, especially one with pallets, as in the old vertical escapement. See under Escapement.
  • n.
  • n. The edge or outside of a bed or border.
  • n. A slip of grass adjoining gravel walks, and dividing them from the borders in a parterre.
  • n. The penis.
  • n. The external male organ of certain mollusks, worms, etc. See Illustration in Appendix.
  • intransitive v. To border upon; to tend; to incline; to come near; to approach.
  • intransitive v. To tend downward; to bend; to slope.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To border.
  • To bend; slope: as, a hill that verges to the north.
  • To tend; incline; approach; border.
  • n. A rod, or something in the form of a rod or staff, carried as an emblem of authority or ensign of office; the mace of a bishop, dean, or other functionary.
  • n. A stick or wand with which persons are admitted tenants, by holding it in the hand, and swearing fealty to the lord. On this account such tenants are called tenants by the verge.
  • n. In architecture: The shaft of a column; a small ornamental shaft, The edge of the tiling projecting over the gable of a roof, that on the horizontal part being called eaves.
  • n. The spindle of the balance-wheel of a watch, especially that of the old vertical movement.
  • n. An accentmark.
  • n. A quantity of land, from 15 to 30 acres; a yard-land; a virgate.
  • n. The extreme side or edge of anything; the brink; edge; border; margin.
  • n. The horizon.
  • n. A boundary; a limit; hence, anything that incloses or bounds, as a ring or circlet.
  • n. The space within a boundary or limit; hence, room; scope; place; opportunity.
  • n. In English law, the compass of the jurisdiction of the Court of Marshalsea, or palace-court.
  • n. In a stocking-frame, a small piece of iron placed in front, of the needle-bar to regulate the position of the needles.
  • n. In anatomy and zoology, the penis, especially that of various invertebrates.
  • n. In horticulture, the grass edging of a bed or border; a slip of grass dividing the walks from the borders in a garden.
  • n. The main beam of the trebuchet, a missile engine used in medieval warfare

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a ceremonial or emblematic staff
  • n. a region marking a boundary
  • n. the limit beyond which something happens or changes
  • n. a grass border along a road
  • v. border on; come close to


Middle English, from Old French, rod, ring, from Latin virga, rod, strip.
Latin vergere.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French verge ("rod or wand of office"), hence "scope, territory dominated", from Latin virga ("shoot, rod stick"), of unknown origin. Earliest attested sense in English is now-obsolete meaning "male member, penis" (c.1400). Modern sense is from the notion of 'within the verge' (1509, also as Anglo-Norman dedeinz la verge), i.e. "subject to the Lord High Steward's authority" (as symbolized by the rod of office), originally a 12-mile radius round the royal court, which sense shifted to "the outermost edge of an expanse or area." (Wiktionary)
From Latin vergō ("to bend, turn, tend toward, incline"), from Proto-Indo-European *werg- (“to turn”), from a root Proto-Indo-European *wer- (“to turn, bend”) (compare versus); strongly influenced by the above noun. (Wiktionary)



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