1 of 3


: a large vessel (such as a cistern, tub, or barrel) especially for holding liquors in an immature state or preparations for dyeing or tanning
: a liquor containing a dye converted into a soluble reduced colorless or weakly colored form that on textile material steeped in the liquor and exposed to the air is converted by oxidation to the original insoluble dye and precipitated in the fiber


2 of 3


vatted; vatting

transitive verb

: to put into or treat in a vat


3 of 3


value-added tax

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Baristas made drip coffee and tea using a large vat of hot water, boiled before the power cut. Ian Lovett And Nikita Nikolaienko, WSJ, 13 Nov. 2022 My favorite curd is not flavored, about 10 minutes right out of the vat. Kristine M. Kierzek, Journal Sentinel, 6 Oct. 2022 This crumbling vat, with squares aligned back to back, was built to process the plant when the demand for indigo dye was at its height. Latria Graham, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Dec. 2022 The canoe will then be hand-lowered into a large preservation vat, which also contains the 1,200-year-old canoe. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 23 Sep. 2022 Kent State coach Sean Lewis, this week’s unfortunate victim headed for the Dawg House, emptied an industrial vat of rat poison at Smart’s feet. Kevin Scarbinsky | Special To, al, 22 Sep. 2022 Back at the Miso Robotics lab there’s a Flippy in the corner repeatedly dropping a fryer basket into an empty oil vat a million times to test for armature failure. Lee Powell, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2022 The scene in which Kevin Malone, played by Brian Baumgartner, spills a massive vat of chili all over the office floor is iconic and has become a meme known to and used by the masses. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2022 Thereafter, every day for a whole year, the liquid that seeps from the fish is drained and then returned into the vat -- but, critically, there's no stirring or mixing involved, as happens in fish sauce production in other provinces of Vietnam. Chris Dwyer, CNN, 3 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English vet, vat, southern variant of fat, fet, going back to Old English fæt, going back to Germanic *fata- (whence Old Saxon fat "vessel," Old High German faz); akin to Lithuanian púodas "pot"

First Known Use


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1784, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vat was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near vat

Cite this Entry

“Vat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: a large container (as a tub) especially for holding liquids in manufacturing processes

Legal Definition




More from Merriam-Webster on vat

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