\ ˈvat How to pronounce vat (audio) \

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 Several Cougars doused Rolovich with a vat of sports drink after a stirring comeback win on Saturday night against Stanford. Billy Witz, New York Times, 18 Oct. 2021 The detector, a giant vat filled with 170 metric tons of pure liquid argon, waits to catch neutrinos in the act of slamming into the nucleus of one of the argon atoms. Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American, 4 Nov. 2021 An original wooden tanning vat wall was discovered at the Union Mills Homestead site on Monday as a result of an archaeological investigation of the 19th-century Shriver Tannery. Madison Bateman,, 27 Oct. 2021 Grown atop the soil and dead trees of a forest or in a rich brew in a stainless steel vat, mycelium is used for everything from steak to bacon to chicken. Corie Brown, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 Nothing says diabolical plotting like playing with a vat of hair gel while sporting a fresh induction cut. Olivia Crandall, Vulture, 19 Sep. 2021 Red wine is produced from dark-skinned grape varieties, which are expertly harvested, pressed, and fermented with grape skins and juice inside a tank or vat. Serena Coady, Glamour, 3 Sep. 2021 Bathed in ultraviolet rays from his flashlight, the nest looked as though it had been dipped in a vat of highlighter ink, so bright and Day-Glo green that the inches-wide structure was visible from some 60 feet away. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 24 Aug. 2021 Moments later, the vat falls over as the dog tries to escape. Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for vat

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

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for vat



English Language Learners Definition of vat

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


\ ˈvat How to pronounce vat (audio) \

Kids Definition of vat

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


\ ˌvē-ˌā-ˈtē \

Legal Definition of VAT

More from Merriam-Webster on vat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vat

Nglish: Translation of vat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vat for Arabic Speakers


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