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."
verge (plural verges)
- A rod or staff of office, e.g. of a verger.
- An edge or border.
- (UK, Australia, New Zealand) The grassy area between the sidewalk and the street; a tree lawn.
- (obsolete) A male rod, phallus.
- (figuratively) An extreme limit beyond which something specific will happen.
- I was on the verge of tears.
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.
- (intransitive) To be or come very close; to border; to approach.
- Eating blowfish verges on insanity.
- “verge” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
Audio (US) (file)
verge f (plural verges)
- vergé (adjective)
- verger (verb)
- vergeron m
- vergeté (adjective)
- vergeter (verb)