\ 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 veinal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of vein in a Sentence


the author goes on in that sarcastic vein for pages

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The band’s next three albums, Candy-O, Panorama and Shake It Up, continued in the same vein. Ashley Iasimone, The Hollywood Reporter, "Ric Ocasek, Lead Singer of The Cars, Dies at 75," 16 Sep. 2019 In the same vein, the city’s parks department is developing a new map that tracks risks for youth throughout San Jose. Michelle Pitcher, The Mercury News, "San Jose community briefs for the week of Sept. 13," 13 Sep. 2019 That was probably correct, but the plays were in the same vein. Doug Lesmerises,, "Cleveland Browns’ loss both better and worse than you thought -- Can Freddie Kitchens fix it?," 9 Sep. 2019 In that same vein, Kennedy Thursday aligned himself with several causes of intense focus on the left including abolishing the filibuster in the Senate during an interview with WBZ-TV. Victoria Mcgrane,, "Joe Kennedy III pledges not to take cash from corporate PACs," 5 Sep. 2019 Though the situation is very different, the solutions seem effectively cast in a similar vein—as focussed and specific programs designed to solve seemingly overwhelming problems. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Walmart’s Announcement and Other Signs of Hope in the Gun Crisis," 5 Sep. 2019 In a similar vein to needing consistent playing time, the 22-year-old needs a consistent system to work in which is vital to success in the modern game., "Renato Sanches: 4 Things the Wonderkid Can Do to Resurrect His Stuttering Career," 24 Aug. 2019 In a similar vein, someone on a scooter or in a car intentionally crashes into your vehicle and tries to resolve the incident by demanding cash. Andrea Sachs, Twin Cities, "10 common travel scams — and how to avoid them," 10 Aug. 2019 In a similar vein, autocrats in one part of the world are emboldened by autocrats in another part of the world. Elif Shafak, Quartz, "Nationalism is thriving using the very mechanism it denounces," 6 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The charge of corruption veined every criticism, including the groundless one that Adams was filling the executive mansion with frivolous luxuries purchased at the public’s expense. David S. Heidler And Jeanne T. Heidler, WSJ, "Midterms Have Been Punishing Incumbents Since 1826," 25 Oct. 2018 Subtle tone-on-tone veining adds depth to this Corian palette of soothing neutrals: Camel, Ecru, Cirrus White, and Natural Gray. Rebecca Winzenried, ELLE Decor, "Home Magazine's 5th Annual Kitchen & Bath Awards 2003," 5 July 2012 Computer models predict more than 3 feet of rain in the eastern part of the state, a fertile low-lying plain veined by brackish rivers with a propensity for escaping their banks. Michael Biesecker, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane could flood many waste sites, creating toxic brew," 11 Sep. 2018 Computer models predict more than 3 feet of rain in the eastern part of the state, a fertile low-lying plain veined by brackish rivers with a propensity for escaping their banks. Michael Biesecker, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane could flood many waste sites, creating toxic brew," 11 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for vein

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for vein

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on vein

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vein

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on vein

What made you want to look up vein? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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