\ 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
b(1) : lode sense 2
(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 vein (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 When Thomas Rhett began releasing singles in 2012, he was positioned as a scruffy young singer-songwriter in the vein of Eric Church. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, "Thomas Rhett Rediscovers His Country Self on the Rootsy New Album ‘Country Again’," 30 Apr. 2021 As the family’s circumstances devolve, what began in the vein of Robinson Crusoe or Huckleberry Finn starts to look more like Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Judy Berman, Time, "Justin Theroux Is Great in The Mosquito Coast. But What Is This Muddled Meditation on American Life Trying to Say?," 29 Apr. 2021 Ferketic said the volleyball team can tap that same vein against the Waves. Edward Lee,, "‘We’re an upset school’: UMBC volleyball seeking to pull off NCAA tournament shocker against Pepperdine," 13 Apr. 2021 The kid eventually became a doctor, though not in the vein of his childhood model. Roy S. Johnson |, al, "Jefferson County Deputy Health Officer Dr. David Hicks: ‘We’ve got to keep momentum going’," 11 Apr. 2021 With 68 teams playing 67 games across nearly three weeks in six different venues located in and around the Indianapolis metropolitan area, the men's NCAA Tournament can be seen as a logistical achievement in the vein of the Olympic Games. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Zoo field trips, Topgolf: How teams are breaking up monotony of men's NCAA Tournament 'bubble'," 26 Mar. 2021 In nearly every region across America there are artists in the vein of Hussle — the Boosie Badazz’s, E-40s and Mozzys — whose catalogues are sacred rites and whose stories deserve enshrinement in the body of music literature. Jeff Weiss, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Nipsey Hussle, the late canonical South L.A. rapper, gets his first biography," 23 Mar. 2021 Crisis, the latest film from writer-director Nicholas Jarecki, yearns to be a socially conscious thriller laced with moral cynicism and taut suspense in the vein of Silkwood and The China Syndrome. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "The star-studded Crisis is a languid thriller with delusions of social consciousness: Review," 26 Feb. 2021 While the new series was produced in the vein of This Is Us, which takes us from the past to the present and even future, Netflix's Firefly Lane is actually a period piece. Martha Sorren,, "Why Are Razr Flip Phones The Height Of Sophistication In Firefly Lane?," 5 Feb. 2021 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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vein.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for vein



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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