ve·​he·​ment | \ ˈvē-ə-mənt How to pronounce vehement (audio) \

Definition of vehement

: marked by forceful energy : powerful a vehement wind : such as
a : intensely emotional : impassioned, fervid vehement patriotism
b(1) : deeply felt a vehement suspicion
(2) : forcibly expressed vehement denunciations
c : bitterly antagonistic a vehement debate

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Other Words from vehement

vehemently adverb

Examples of vehement in a Sentence

Cranes rise above the old rooftops, adding new office towers and new condominiums and new malls to a city where Jonathan Swift once issued his vehement bulletins. — Pete Hamill, Gourmet, April 2007 As they shouted and mocked, I wondered how they could have developed such intense, vehement hatred toward people with whom they had had no previous contact. — Todd Hechtman, The News/Sun-Sentinel, 1 Feb. 1987 He cursed himself like a less scrupulous Job, as a vehement man will do when he loses self-respect, the last mental prop under poverty. — Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, 1886 Both the ladies indulged in vehement screaming for several minutes; and Mr. Cymon Tuggs, besides sustaining intense bodily pain, had the additional mental anguish of witnessing their distressing situation, without having the power to rescue them, by reason of his leg being firmly screwed in between the animal and the wall. — Charles Dickens, Sketches by "Boz", 1836 He issued a vehement denial of the accusation. The proposal has faced vehement opposition from many teachers. She was vehement about the need for new safety measures.
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Recent Examples on the Web Naumann issued vehement denunciations after each action., "US Catholic bishops may press Biden to stop receiving Communion," 28 Apr. 2021 Naumann issued vehement denunciations after each action. David Crary, Star Tribune, "US Catholic bishops may press Biden to stop taking Communion," 28 Apr. 2021 One of the most vehement SCT critics is Allen Frances, a professor emeritus and former chair of the department of psychiatry at Duke University. Rebecca Sohn, STAT, "On a limb: Despite resistance, a group of researchers is investigating the possibility of a new mental health disorder," 14 Apr. 2021 Normally-arcane election administration rules are now freighted with intense political cross-pressures, as liberals demand more vehement denunciations of the proposals and conservatives slam businesses for kowtowing to the left. Los Angeles Times, "‘There is no middle ground’: Corporate America feels the pressure on voting rights," 2 Apr. 2021 They were greeted with vehement protest from legislators loath to see cities in their districts lose control of their ports. Washington Post, "Rough waters in Key West as city, cruise industry and state lawmakers tangle over its future," 27 Mar. 2021 Tanzania's leadership faced calls for a smooth succession on Thursday after president John Magufuli, Africa's most vehement coronavirus skeptic, died following an 18-day absence from public life that drew speculation about his health. NBC News, "Tanzania's Covid-skeptic leader Magufuli dies after weeks of rumors about his health," 18 Mar. 2021 The laws have led to vehement complaints from civil rights advocates who say police can use them as a pretext for stopping Black motorists. Denise Lavoie, Star Tribune, "EXPLAINER: Can officers stop drivers for air fresheners?," 15 Apr. 2021 Israel considers Iran an existential threat, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a vehement critic of the nuclear accord between Iran and world powers, repeated Monday that Israel would not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. Omid Khazani, Los Angeles Times, "What’s ahead for Iran and Israel after alleged attack at key nuclear site?," 12 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vehement.' 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 vehement

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vehement

borrowed from Middle French, going back to Old French, borrowed from Latin vehement-, vehemens, vēmens "violent, vigorous, (of feelings) overmastering, powerful," perhaps from vehere "to convey, carry along, drive" + -mens, adjective suffix (as in clēmens "mild, calm") of uncertain origin

Note: Alternatively explained as a prefix vē- "faulty, excessive or deficient" and ment-, mens "mind," in which case -ehe- is an unetymological spelling of the long vowel. Though this would account for vehemens in place of *vehimens (with normal vowel weakening), the word never has the sense "mentally deranged" (the meanings of the presumed parallel formations vēcors and vēsānus).

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Time Traveler for vehement

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The first known use of vehement was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vehement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for vehement



English Language Learners Definition of vehement

: showing strong and often angry feelings : very emotional


ve·​he·​ment | \ ˈvē-ə-mənt How to pronounce vehement (audio) \

Kids Definition of vehement

1 : showing great force or energy a vehement wind
2 : highly emotional vehement patriotism
3 : expressed with force a vehement denial

Other Words from vehement

vehemently adverb

Comments on vehement

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