\ˈvat \

Definition of vat 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a large vessel (such as a cistern, tub, or barrel) especially for holding liquors in an immature state or preparations for dyeing or tanning

2 : 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


vatted; vatting

Definition of vat (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to put into or treat in a vat

Definition of VAT (Entry 3 of 3)

value-added tax

Examples of vat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hawaii Blue’s dye vats are only big enough to fit one square yard of fabric. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "How OluKai Makes Its Hand-Dyed Indigo Kicks," 30 May 2018 While staff navigate this brewery’s steel vats and pipes, guests can sample from the dozen craft beers on tap along with elevated bar food. Ashley Mateo, WSJ, "This Amsterdam Neighborhood Is Europe’s Newest Boho Paradise," 3 Oct. 2018 The way in which Quonset huts also filled with men, just men who didn’t speak English, were dipping those different kinds of chips into big, boiling vats of material, without the rest of Silicon Valley couldn’t happen. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: ‘Temp’ author Louis Hyman on Recode Decode," 29 Aug. 2018 This was traditionally done in a giant vat, where milk was heated to 145 degrees for 30 minutes, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "4 Beverages You Should Never Drink Past the Expiration Date," 26 July 2018 On the wall-to-wall shelves are books for inspiration and giant glass vats full of colorful powder makeup pigments. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Go Inside Makeup Artist Violette's Beauty Stash," 18 July 2018 At a Sartori factory in Plymouth, giant mixers revolve over long silver vats, blending cheese curds with salt. New York Times, "Trump’s Trade War Could Shut Cheesemakers Out of Foreign Markets," 24 June 2018 Artificial meat, whether made from plants or grown from animal cells in vats, is getting cheaper and more realistic, and could be much more sustainable than livestock farming. The Economist, "The future of food, served up right here in augmented reality," 7 July 2018 Hong Kong schools often receive hot lunch deliveries in single-use plastic boxes, but this school has asked for meals to be delivered in metal vats and served on reusable trays. Jenni Marsh, CNN, "Our children's plastic lives seen through lunches," 7 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of vat


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1784, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vat


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"

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Dictionary Entries near vat






vat dye


Statistics for vat

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vat

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

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More Definitions for vat

Financial Definition of VAT

What It Is

A value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax added to a product's sales price. It represents a tax on the "value added" to the product throughout its production process.

How It Works

The VAT system is invoice-based. Each seller in the product chain includes a VAT charge on the buyer's invoice. Under a VAT taxation system, all sellers collect the tax and then pay it to the government. The VAT gives sellers along the supply chain a direct economic motivation to collect the tax, thereby reducing the incidence of tax evasion.

Don't confuse the VAT with sales tax. Under a sales tax, the tax is collected only once at the consumer's point of purchase. The VAT tax, however, is collected every time a business purchases products from other businesses within the product's supply chain.

Why It Matters

The VAT is a highly efficient flat consumption tax that reduces the incidence of non-compliance. More than 100 countries have adopted it -- with rates ranging from 10% - 25%.

Investors who are looking for safer overseas investments should consider whether the prospective country uses a VAT, which indicates a more stable fiscal environment.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of vat

: a large container (such as a tub or barrel) used especially for holding liquids


\ˈvat \

Kids Definition of vat

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

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Legal Definition of VAT 

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More from Merriam-Webster on vat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vat

Spanish Central: Translation of vat

Nglish: Translation of vat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vat for Arabic Speakers

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