If your friend tells you that the speech you just made was really verbal, he means you used too many words, overstated the point, went on too long, were redundant.

Verbal simply means, "having to do with words." If you hit someone that's a physically assault, but if you say nasty things to him, it's a verbal assault. Sometimes we use verbal to mean "spoken instead of written," usually to talk about agreements we've made. A child who is verbal is a child who can speak, and we call someone who's very articulate a verbal person.

Definitions of verbal

adj of or relating to or formed from words in general

verbal ability”

adj relating to or having facility in the use of words

“a good poet is a verbal artist”
“a merely verbal writer who sacrifices content to sound”
verbal aptitude”
mathematical, numerical
relating to or having ability to think in or work with numbers

adj communicated in the form of words

verbal imagery”
“a verbal protest”
communicative, communicatory
able or tending to communicate

adj expressed in spoken words

“a verbal contract”
uttered through the medium of speech or characterized by speech; sometimes used in combination

adj prolix

“"you put me to forget a lady's manners by being so verbal"- Shakespeare”
tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length

adj of or relating to or formed from a verb

verbal adjectives like `running' in `hot and cold running water'”

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.