vault

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: an arched structure of masonry usually forming a ceiling or roof
b
: something (such as the sky) resembling a vault
c
: an arched or dome-shaped anatomical structure
the cranial vault
2
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
3
a
: a burial chamber
b
: a prefabricated container usually of metal or concrete into which a casket is placed at burial
vaulty adjective

Illustration of vault

Illustration of vault
  • vault 1a

vault

2 of 4

verb (1)

vaulted; vaulting; vaults

transitive verb

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

vault

3 of 4

verb (2)

vaulted; vaulting; vaults

intransitive verb

1
: to leap vigorously
especially : to execute a leap using the hands or a pole
2
: 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

vault

4 of 4

noun (2)

: an act of vaulting : leap

Examples of vault in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Those that belong to the museum will go back in their vaults, but the rest will return to their rightful owners. Julia Carmel, CNN, 30 Mar. 2024 That structure features a design scheme known as the veil and the vault. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 Why, then, would Chinese authorities not be tempted by whatever tasty tidbits might be stored in TikTok’s vaults? Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 24 Mar. 2024 A little over a decade later, Pro-Tek expanded with a facility in Thousand Oaks; a second joined it in 2015, followed by the 2017 addition of a storage area network and frozen vault in Burbank. Brent Simon, Variety, 14 Mar. 2024 Paint buckets were left sprawled throughout the cemetery near vaults and headstones. Gerard Albert, NPR, 1 Mar. 2024 The three-time Olympic medalist announced the news a day before the 2024 Winter Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, where she was scheduled to compete on beam, floor, and vault. Ingrid Vasquez, Peoplemag, 23 Feb. 2024 Downtown, the opulent First National Center offers a selection of buzzy bars and restaurants like the swanky Stock & Bond steakhouse and The Library of Distilled Spirits (a cocktail bar housed inside the building’s old bank vault), and a luxury hotel, aptly named The National. Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 22 Feb. 2024 The service boasts more than 75,000 hours of on-demand content, both originals and library content from the media giants’ respective programming vaults, as well as 7,000 hours of live sports, including Liga MX and UEFA Champion’s League soccer. Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety, 20 Mar. 2024
Verb
Artemas himself also vaults 42-11 on the Emerging Artists chart. Xander Zellner, Billboard, 2 Apr. 2024 Lieberman vaulted into the Senate by defeating moderate Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker in 1988. Susan Haigh, Fortune, 28 Mar. 2024 Conradt’s screenplay plays a lengthy second-act game of who’s-gaslighting-who, pitting one character’s rising paranoia against the other’s overstepping, and then swapping those positions for good measure, resolutely refusing to take sides until the story vaults itself to a new plane of absurdity. Guy Lodge, Variety, 27 Mar. 2024 Many of the rooms have vaulted and beamed ceilings, oversized windows that flood spaces with natural light, and direct access to the outdoors. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 26 Mar. 2024 Those improvements could be enough to vault Bona into the first round of the 2025 NBA draft. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2024 The single also vaults 20-14 on Rhythmic Airplay through a 36% increase in plays. Trevor Anderson, Billboard, 20 Mar. 2024 The win vaulted the Warriors over the Lakers in the standings and serves a step toward earning a tiebreaker. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 17 Mar. 2024 His jumper and three-pointer helped spark the Bruins’ late 18-1 run against Arizona State that vaulted UCLA into a first-round game against No. 12 Oregon State (13-18) at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vault.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English vaute, voute, borrowed from Anglo-French voute, volte, going back to Vulgar Latin *volvita "turn, arched structure," noun derivative from feminine of *volvitus, re-formation of Latin volūtus, past participle of volvere "to travel (a circular course), bring round, roll" — more at wallow entry 1

Verb (1)

Middle English vowten, borrowed from Anglo-French vouter, verbal derivative of voute vault entry 1

Verb (2)

probably borrowed from Middle French vouster "to turn about (on horseback), wheel, prance," going back to Vulgar Latin *volvitāre, frequentative of Latin volvere "to travel (a circular course), bring round, roll" — more at wallow entry 1

Noun (2)

noun derivative of vault entry 3

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1538, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1576, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vault was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near vault

Cite this Entry

“Vault.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vault. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

vault

1 of 3 noun
1
a
: an arched structure of stone or concrete forming a ceiling or roof
b
: an arch or dome suggesting a vault
the vault of the sky
2
: a room or compartment for storage or safekeeping
a bank vault
3
: a burial chamber

vault

2 of 3 verb
: to leap or leap over with the aid of the hands or a pole
vaulter noun

vault

3 of 3 noun
: an act of vaulting : leap

Medical Definition

: an arched or dome-shaped anatomical structure: as
a
: skullcap, calvarium
the cranial vault

More from Merriam-Webster on vault

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