noun \ˈvlt\

Definition of VAULT

a :  an arched structure of masonry usually forming a ceiling or roof
b :  something (as the sky) resembling a vault
c :  an arched or dome-shaped anatomical structure <the cranial vault>
a :  a space covered by an arched structure; especially :  an underground passage or room
b :  an underground storage compartment
c :  a room or compartment for the safekeeping of valuables
a :  a burial chamber
b :  a prefabricated container usually of metal or concrete into which a casket is placed at burial
vaulty \ˈvl-tē\ adjective

Illustration of VAULT

Origin of VAULT

Middle English vaute, voute, from Anglo-French voute, from Vulgar Latin *volvita turn, vault, from feminine of *volvitus, alteration of Latin volutus, past participle of volvere to roll — more at voluble
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Architecture Terms

buttress, casita, cornice, fanlight, garret, lintel, parapet, pilaster, plinth

Rhymes with VAULT



Definition of VAULT

transitive verb
:  to form or cover with or as if with a vault :  arch

First Known Use of VAULT

14th century



Definition of VAULT

intransitive verb
:  to leap vigorously; especially :  to execute a leap using the hands or a pole
:  to do or achieve something as if by a leap <vaulted to sudden prominence>
transitive verb
:  to leap over; especially :  to leap over by or as if by aid of the hands or a pole

Origin of VAULT

Middle French volter, from Old Italian voltare, from Vulgar Latin *volvitare to turn, leap, frequentative of Latin volvere
First Known Use: 1538



Definition of VAULT

:  an act of vaulting :  leap

First Known Use of VAULT


Other Gymnastics Terms

aerial, pike


noun \ˈvlt, chiefly British ˈvält\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of VAULT

: an arched or dome-shaped anatomical structure: as a : skullcap, calvarium <the cranial vault> b : fornix d


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Four common types of vault. A barrel vault (also called a cradle vault, tunnel vault, or wagon …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

In building construction, an arched structure forming a ceiling or roof. The masonry vault exerts the same kind of thrust as the arch, and must be supported along its entire length by heavy walls with limited openings. The basic barrel vault, in effect a continuous series of arches, first appeared in ancient Egypt and the Middle East. Roman architects discovered that two barrel vaults intersecting at right angles (a groin vault) could, when repeated in series, span rectangular areas of unlimited length. Because the groin vault's thrusts are concentrated at the four corners, its supporting walls need not be massive. Medieval European builders developed the rib vault, a skeleton of arches or ribs on which the masonry could be laid. The fan vault, popular in the English Perpendicular style, used fan-shaped clusters of tracery-like ribs springing from pendants or columns. The 19th century saw the use of large iron skeletons as frameworks for vaults of lightweight materials (see Crystal Palace). An important modern innovation is the reinforced-concrete shell vault, which, if its length is three or more times its transverse section, behaves as a deep beam and exerts no lateral thrust.


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