\ ˈvān How to pronounce vein (audio) \

Definition of vein

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : blood vessel especially : any of the tubular branching vessels that carry blood from the capillaries toward the heart
2a : any of the vascular bundles forming the framework of a leaf
b : any of the thickened cuticular ribs that serve to stiffen the wings of an insect
3a : a narrow water channel in rock or earth or in ice
(2) : a bed of useful mineral matter
4 : something suggesting veins (as in reticulation) specifically : a wavy variegation (as in marble)
5a : a distinctive mode of expression : style stories in a romantic vein
b : a distinctive element or quality : strain introduced a welcome vein of humor
c : a line of thought or action
6a : a special aptitude inherited an artistic vein
b : a usually transitory and casually attained mood
c : top form thou troublest me; I am not in the vein— William Shakespeare


veined; veining; veins

Definition of vein (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to pattern with or as if with veins

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Other Words from vein


veinal \ ˈvā-​nᵊl How to pronounce veinal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of vein in a Sentence

Noun the author goes on in that sarcastic vein for pages
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Only someone who has orange pumping through their veins thought a five-win season, and perhaps a bowl game, would happen. oregonlive, "Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith now solidly in Pac-12 coach of the year discussion: 10 takeaways from the Beavers’ 35-34 win over Arizona State," 17 Nov. 2019 New mom, 27, wife of IndyCar mechanic battling cancer Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The chemotherapy coursing through her veins is brutal. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "At 27 with a new baby, she thought she had the flu. It was blood cancer.," 11 Nov. 2019 There was an unholy concoction of cocaine, cognac and cannabis coursing through my veins. Natalie Stone,, "Lamar Odom Says He Has Been 'Saved': 'I Had to Show Jesus My Appreciation for Keeping Me Alive!'," 1 Nov. 2019 Hanging out at a Vietnamese Buddhist temple taught me so much about how delicious and diverse Vietnamese vegan cuisine is, even though many of us in the diaspora joke about having fish sauce running through our veins instead of blood. Soleil Ho,, "What makes Vietnamese vegan food so good? An expert explains," 14 Oct. 2019 But the faces denied entrance are yours, the weak ones are yours, lamentations and anthems streaking through your veins, dark with sleet and thaw. Joanna Klink, The New Republic, "Night Sky," 3 Oct. 2019 In a similar vein, Horwitz’s second goal was to revisit and get something done with a plan to make traffic improvements on Chagrin Boulevard and Richmond Road. cleveland, "Beachwood council, mayor meet to set goals for 2020-21 and beyond," 22 Jan. 2020 These misshapen cells get stuck in veins and arteries, blocking the flow of blood that carries life-giving oxygen to the body and causing the disease’s horrifying hallmark: episodes of agony that begin in babyhood. Gina Kolata,, "At 16, she’s a pioneer in the fight to cure sickle cell disease," 11 Jan. 2020 These misshapen cells get stuck in veins and arteries, blocking the flow of blood that carries life-giving oxygen to the body and causing the disease’s horrifying hallmark: episodes of agony that begin in babyhood. New York Times, "At 16, She’s a Pioneer in the Fight to Cure Sickle Cell Disease," 11 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Companies are offering marble-look tile in unexpected hues like magenta and green, or with veining in gold or copper. Washington Post, "`Like theater in tile form’: Tile’s patterns, designs expand," 13 Nov. 2019 Coming up, says Tien: Parker House rolls veined with scallions and shallots, a riff on Chinese scallion pancakes. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "At Emilie’s, chef Kevin Tien wants to throw a dinner party every night," 25 Oct. 2019 Quartzite comes in an array of colors and veining that ranges from subtle to bold. Jeff Reina, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: Choosing the right countertop when remodeling," 2 Nov. 2019 Instead, the crust is dense and focaccia-like, its insides veined with olive oil. Soleil Ho,, "Greens is brighter than ever as it soars through its midlife crisis," 3 Oct. 2019 Against an uncharacteristically gray June Parisian sky, veined with fine clouds like marble, Pierpaolo Piccioli, the 52-year-old creative director of Valentino, crouches contemplatively, brow furrowed, chin resting on fist. Mariano Vivanco; Fashion Editor: Miguel Enamorado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Valentino's Creative Director on Bringing His Poetic Vision to Fashion," 21 Aug. 2019 The border region of Lombardy adopted blue-veined cheese over mozzarella, and substituted rice for the ubiquitous Italian pasta. Jim Kempton, Orange County Register, "Follow the French: A look at the French influence on cuisine around the world," 2 Aug. 2019 Kayak through the General Carrera Lake’s Marble Chapels, a network of glacial caves veined with blue striations carved from calcium carbonate by over 6,000 years of water pressure. National Geographic, "Take the perfect road trip at the bottom of the world," 5 July 2019 Taking 579 years and at least 78 chief architects to complete, the cathedral is one of the jewels of Europe; a canal network was created just to transport slabs of its pink-veined marble from Lake Maggiore 50 miles away. Michael J. Bailey,, "In Milan, a low-tech saunter through a mecca of high fashion," 18 June 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


1502, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vein


Middle English veyne, borrowed from Anglo-French veine, going back to Latin vēna "blood vessel, channel," of obscure origin


verbal derivative of vein entry 1

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Time Traveler for vein

Time Traveler

The first known use of vein was in the 14th century

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Statistics for vein

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vein.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for vein


How to pronounce vein (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vein

: any one of the tubes that carry blood from parts of the body back to the heart
: any one of the thin lines that can be seen on the surface of a leaf or on the wing of an insect
: a long, narrow opening in rock filled with gold, silver, etc.


\ ˈvān How to pronounce vein (audio) \

Kids Definition of vein

1 : one of the blood vessels that carry the blood back to the heart
2 : a long narrow opening in rock filled with a specific mineral a vein of gold
3 : a streak of different color or texture (as in marble)
4 : a style of expression I continued in a more serious vein.— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted
5 : one of the bundles of fine tubes that make up the framework of a leaf and carry food, water, and nutrients in the plant
6 : one of the slender parts that stiffen and support the wing of an insect

Other Words from vein

veined \ ˈvānd \ adjective


\ ˈvān How to pronounce vein (audio) \

Medical Definition of vein

: any of the tubular branching vessels that carry blood from the capillaries toward the heart and have thinner walls than the arteries and often valves at intervals to prevent reflux of the blood which flows in a steady stream and is in most cases dark-colored due to the presence of reduced hemoglobin

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More from Merriam-Webster on vein

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vein

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vein

Spanish Central: Translation of vein

Nglish: Translation of vein for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vein for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about vein

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