Text is a verb too

I went searching for a dictionary definition of text in use as a verb, and was surprised to not find anything listed in the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang.

To me, using the word text as a verb (as in, “I’ll text you the phone number later”) is a new and informal idea, but the Concise Oxford English Dictionary disagrees with me, as it includes a definition of the word as both a noun and a verb. When did this change formally happen? Is there a way of using the word text as a verb that does not apply to text messaging?


→ n.
1. a written or printed work regarded in terms of content rather than form. • the original words of an author or document. • (Computing) data corresponding to a body of writing.
2. the main body of a book or other piece of writing, as distinct from appendices, illustrations, etc.
3. a written work chosen as a subject of study. • a passage from the Bible or other religious work, especially as the subject of a sermon.
4. a text message.
5. ( also text-hand ) (archaic) fine, large handwriting, used especially for manuscripts.

→ v.
send a text message to.
– DERIVATIVES texter n. textless adj.
– ORIGIN ME: from Old North. Fr. texte, from L. textus ‘tissue, literary style’ (in med. L., ‘Gospel’), from text-, texere ‘weave’

“text n.” The Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Twelfth edition . Ed. Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson. Oxford University Press, 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. University of British Columbia. 18 September 2010

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