An example of being on the verge is the time right before scientists make a new discovery.
- the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used fig.: the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria
- Brit. a grassy border, as along a road
- an enclosing line or border; boundary, esp. of something more or less circular
- the area so enclosed
- the part of a sloping roof that extends beyond a gable wall
- the spindle of a balance wheel in a clock with an old-style vertical escapement
- a rod or staff symbolic of an office, as that carried before a church official in processions
- Eng. Feudal Law a rod held in the hand by a feudal tenant as he swore fealty to his lord
Origin of vergeMiddle English ; from OFr, rod, wand, stick, yard, hoop ; from Classical Latin virga, twig, rod, wand ; from Indo-European an unverified form wizga- ; from base an unverified form wei-, to bend, twist from source wire, whisk
- to tend or incline (to or toward)
- to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into): dawn verging into daylight
Origin of vergeClassical Latin vergere, to bend, turn ; from Indo-European an unverified form werg- ; from base an unverified form wer-, to turn, bend from source warp, worm
- a. An edge or margin; a border. See Synonyms at border.b. Architecture The edge of the tiling that projects over a roof gable.c. Chiefly British A grassy border, as along a road.
- 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.
- A rod, wand, or staff carried as an emblem of authority or office.
- The spindle of a balance wheel in a clock or watch, especially such a spindle in a clock with vertical escapement.
- The male organ of copulation in certain mollusks.
intransitive verbverged, verg·ing, verg·es
- To approach the nature or condition of something specified; come close. Used with on: a brilliance verging on genius.
- To be on the edge or border: Her land verges on the neighboring township.
Origin of vergeMiddle English, from Old French, rod, ring, from Latin virga, rod, strip.
intransitive verbverged, verg·ing, verg·es
- To slope or incline.
- To tend to move in a particular direction: “the Neoclassicism &ellipsis; away from which they subsequently verged” (Hugh Honour).
- To pass or merge gradually: dusk verging into night.
Origin of vergeLatin vergere; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.
- A rod or staff of office, e.g. of a verger.
- (UK, historical) The stick or wand with which persons were formerly admitted tenants, by holding it in the hand and swearing fealty to the lord. Such tenants were called tenants by the verge.
- An edge or border.
- (UK, Australia, New Zealand) The grassy area between the sidewalk and the street; a tree lawn.
- (zoology) The external male organ of certain mollusks, worms, etc.
- (figuratively) An extreme limit beyond which something specific will happen.
- I was on the verge of tears.
- An old measure of land: a virgate or yardland.
- A circumference; a circle; a ring.
- (architecture) The shaft of a column, or a small ornamental shaft.
- (architecture) The edge of the tiling projecting over the gable of a roof.
- (horology) The spindle of a watch balance, especially one with pallets, as in the old vertical escapement.
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."
(third-person singular simple present verges, present participle verging, simple past and past participle verged)
From Latin vergÅ (“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.
- (Channel Islands) A measure of land, having varying values in Guernsey and Jersey.
From Jèrriais vergée, Guernésiais vergée, from Anglo-Norman vergé, vergee, originally terre vergee (“measured land”).