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vented; venting; vents

transitive verb

: to provide with a vent
: to serve as a vent for
chimneys vent smoke
: to give often vigorous or emotional expression to
vented her frustration on her coworkers
: to relieve by means of a vent
vented himself in a fiery letter to the editor

intransitive verb

: to relieve oneself by venting something (such as anger)
comes home from work and vents to the kids


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noun (1)

: an opening for the escape of a gas or liquid or for the relief of pressure: such as
: the external opening of the rectum or cloaca : anus
: an opening at the breech of a muzzle-loading gun through which fire is touched to the powder
chiefly Scotland : chimney, flue
: an opportunity or means of escape, passage, or release : outlet
finally gave vent to his pent-up hostility


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noun (2)

: a slit in a garment
specifically : an opening in the lower part of a seam (as of a jacket or skirt)
Choose the Right Synonym for vent

express, vent, utter, voice, broach, air mean to make known what one thinks or feels.

express suggests an impulse to reveal in words, gestures, actions, or what one creates or produces.

expressed her feelings in music

vent stresses a strong inner compulsion to express especially in words.

a tirade venting his frustration

utter implies the use of the voice not necessarily in articulate speech.

utter a groan

voice does not necessarily imply vocal utterance but does imply expression or formulation in words.

an editorial voicing their concerns

broach adds the implication of disclosing for the first time something long thought over or reserved for a suitable occasion.

broached the subject of a divorce

air implies an exposing or parading of one's views often in order to gain relief or sympathy or attention.

publicly airing their differences

Example Sentences

Verb Windows should be opened to vent the fumes. She vented her frustrations by kicking the car. Don't vent your anger on me. I screamed because I needed to vent.
Recent Examples on the Web
More:Phoenix Suns fans vent after Game 3 vs. Los Angeles Clippers blacked out on NBA TV More:Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns take 2-1 series lead on Los Angeles Clippers in NBA Playoffs Reach Jeremy Cluff at Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 21 Apr. 2023 Other lawmakers vented their frustration at a lack of accountability. Amy B Wang,, 14 Apr. 2023 Plenty have turned to the platform to vent or look for their next role. Amelia Harnish, Quartz, 7 Apr. 2023 Unlike even the best portable air conditioners, window ACs won't take up floor space or require you to vent a long hose from the device to the outdoors. Dan Diclerico, Good Housekeeping, 30 Mar. 2023 Adam Steel, a scientist in the Baltimore area, used his commute to a previous employer to vent to an audience of one. Rachel Feintzeig, WSJ, 27 Mar. 2023 Passengers aboard these rocky flights vented their fear and anxiety on Twitter, describing jostling, excruciating noise and circuitous journeys home. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Mar. 2023 Charcoal is burned in the smaller one, with the resultant smoke and heat vented to the larger compartment, where the food is cooked/smoked. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, 7 Mar. 2023 While train derailments happen fairly regularly, the Feb. 3 incident drew special scrutiny after hazardous chemicals were spilled, forcing an evacuation of the community of about 4,700 people as authorities intentionally vented and burned tank cars to prevent an explosion. Shiyin Chen, Fortune, 5 Mar. 2023
Instead, Daniel placed white oak shelves above the counter, the top two framing the stove vent, which is also enveloped in porcelain to recede from view. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Apr. 2023 Officers determined the noise was not a car engine, but a heater vent. cleveland, 27 Jan. 2023 To reduce burn-in on the OLED display, Asus created a special heatsink in the product’s rear, which can dissipate the heat through a vent. PCMAG, 3 Jan. 2023 She’s never experienced any headaches from filming at her home, apart from one instance when the production crew lit a fire in her fireplace and forgot to open the vent. Rachel Schnalzer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2022 The castors are located under the skin near the vent, and are most full in the spring when breeding season is on. Joseph Biebert, Outdoor Life, 3 Apr. 2023 That’s evidence of a lava flow emanating from the vent, say the researchers, which obviously indicates ongoing volcanic activity on Venus. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 15 Mar. 2023 The lined coat features a double-breasted button closure, four-button cuffs, a center-back vent, and a pocket at each hip. Hillary Maglin, Travel + Leisure, 13 Feb. 2023 Near the volcanic vent, tiny electrical discharges emit a signal known as continual radio frequency, an early sign of a volcanic eruption. National Geographic, 13 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English venten "to provide with an air hole," in part verbal derivative of vent "anus, outlet, vent entry 2," in part short for aventen "to cool (oneself, as by removing a helmet), release, let air out of," borrowed from Anglo-French aventer "to allow to escape, release, fan," probably altered by vowel reduction from Old French esventer "to fan, cool by stirring the air," going back to Vulgar Latin *exventāre, from Latin ex- ex- entry 1 + -ventāre, verbal derivative of ventus "wind" — more at wind entry 1

Noun (1)

Middle English, "anus, outlet," probably borrowed from Anglo-French, "wind, cold air, draft, outlet" (continental Old French, "wind"), going back to Latin ventus "wind" — more at wind entry 1

Noun (2)

Middle English vent, fente, borrowed from Anglo-French fente "split, crack, opening," derivative of fendre "to split" (going back to Latin findere), probaby by analogy with pairs such as rendre "to yield," rente "income" — more at bite entry 1, render entry 1, rent entry 1

First Known Use


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

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near vent

Cite this Entry

“Vent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 verb
: to provide with an outlet
: to serve as an outlet for
chimneys vent smoke
: to give expression to
vented her frustration on her sister


2 of 3 noun
: an opening (as a flue) for the escape of a gas or liquid or for the relief of pressure
: an opportunity or means of release : outlet
his writing gives vent to his pent-up feelings


3 of 3 noun
: an opening in the lower part of a seam (as of a jacket or skirt)

Medical Definition


: an opening for the escape of a gas or liquid or for the relief of pressure
especially : the external opening of the rectum or cloaca : anus

More from Merriam-Webster on vent

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