1 of 3

noun (1)

plural vets
: veterinarian
a vet who specializes in equine care
Raven left home for university and is studying to become a vet.Emma Tinson
When the vet gives Freddy a rabies shot, the dog doesn't flinch.Susan Buchsbaum


2 of 3

noun (2)

plural vets
: veteran
military vets
war/combat vets
receives vet benefits
The men they knew there were twenty-nine or thirty years old, and vets of Korea.Mary Ferraro


3 of 3


vetted; vetting; vets

transitive verb

: to evaluate for possible approval or acceptance
vet the candidates for a position
All our requests for documents were vetted by a woman from the KGB.Orlando Figes
Because organizers know that the success of their fairs is always a function of the quality of the merchandise …, many of them vet the items being sold.Jeffrey Robinson
: to subject to usually expert appraisal or correction
vet a manuscript
… the ad agency that vets the show's plot line for authenticity.Mark Harris
He writes his speeches in longhand and often holds them until the last minute so that they cannot be vetted by aides or Government ministers.Howell Raines
I don't care to see Dr. Stopler and have my weaknesses vetted.Richard Ford
: to provide veterinary care for (an animal) : to subject (an animal) to veterinary examination
The SCHS works directly with the municipal county shelter by taking animals into our foster care system, fully vetting them and adopting them to forever homes.Steve Rogers
"As a practicing veterinarian many years ago," writes Douglas F. McBride of Washingtonville, N.Y., "I was occasionally called to vet a horse. …"William Safire
vetter noun
plural vetters

Did you know?

A Brief History of the Verb Vet

When we vet a statement for accuracy or vet a candidate for a position, what are we doing, literally? Does the verb have something to do with veteran "a person with long experience," perhaps indicating that the thing or person vetted is proved to be tried and true?

Interestingly, the word is not related to veteran at all, but rather to veterinarian "an animal doctor." That noun was shortened to vet by the mid-19th century and, within decades, gave rise to a verb vet meaning "to subject (an animal) to medical examination." The verb was soon applied to human beings as well, broadening in sense to "to perform a medical checkup on." By the early 20th century, this word took on the figurative meaning that is now most familiar: "to subject a person or thing to scrutiny; to examine for flaws."

Examples of vet in a Sentence

Noun (1) I have to take my dog to the vet. Noun (2) he's a hardened vet of many political campaigns Verb They vetted her thoroughly before offering her the job. The book was vetted by several different editors. He's already vetted the plan, so we can start right away.
Recent Examples on the Web
Fortune Why vets are getting more expensive Pet health care is getting more expensive, with the price of veterinary care rising 32% over the past four years. Clay Chandler, Fortune, 10 May 2024 Henson’s father was a Vietnam War vet, who also suffered from mental illness. Vanessa Etienne, Peoplemag, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for vet 

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

Word History

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1848, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1848, in the meaning defined above


1875, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of vet was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near vet

Cite this Entry

“Vet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun


2 of 2 noun

Medical Definition


1 of 2 noun


2 of 2 transitive verb
vetted; vetting
: to provide veterinary care for (an animal) or medical care for (a person)
: to subject (a person or animal) to a physical examination or checkup

More from Merriam-Webster on vet

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