Verbal learning and memory over repeated trials were studied in 12 severely closed-head-injured patients and a matched control group of 10 subjects for three types of word lists, i.e., unrelated, related but unclustered, and clustered words. Verbal memory was facilitated in both groups by presentation of related words in a clustered format. However, the performance of head-injured patients was characterized by low levels of recall, clustering, and subjective organization. In addition, they had a larger number of intrusive errors. The results provide evidence for some preserved semantic memory following closed-head injury and their implications for rehabilitation are discussed.