vet

noun
\ˈvet \

Definition of vet 

(Entry 1 of 3)

Definition of vet (Entry 2 of 3)

vet

verb
vetted; vetting

Definition of vet (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to evaluate for possible approval or acceptance vet the candidates for a position

b : to subject to usually expert appraisal or correction vet a manuscript

2a : to provide veterinary care for (an animal) or medical care for (a person)

b : to subject (a person or animal) to a physical examination or checkup

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Other Words from vet

Verb

vetter noun

A Brief History of the Verb Vet

Verb

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

I have to take my dog to the vet.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Ravens veterans join one week later; the Bears, their HOF game opponent, report on July 16 (rookies)/July 19 (vets). Jenny Vrentas, SI.com, "For Many NFL Players, Summer Doesn't Bring Much of a Break," 9 July 2018 More: Kings Island offers free admission to vets, military members July 1-4 Enquire archives contributed. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Sunday is National Blue Ice Cream Day," 29 June 2018 Bush, a World War II vet, wrote in his tweet, which has been liked more than 15,000 times. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "George H.W. Bush Has an Adorable New Service Dog! Here's Everything to Know About Sully," 26 June 2018 Standard procedure for presidents is to let the Justice Department vet possible pardons -- but that’s not required by law, and Trump ignored this step on each of his first five pardons. 5. Erik Larson, Bloomberg.com, "Can President Trump Pardon Himself?," 5 June 2018 The cemetery today is the final resting place of approximately 160,000 vets, interred in the ground and in the columbaria. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "Memorial Day 2018: Willamette National Cemetery events impacted by construction (map)," 25 May 2018 Memorable moments included meeting the other vets, including some who are in their 90s and some decorated with military ribbons. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Veterans return from Honor Flight trip," 16 May 2018 Other guests reportedly included British celebrities and music-industry vets, including Alan Carr, Zane Lowe, and Mark Ronson, plus Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and his wife, Lauren. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Adele Threw a "Titanic"-Themed Birthday Party and Some Fans Are Outraged," 7 May 2018 The first dog stayed at the vet a few nights, had surgery and then went home with a cast for several weeks. Kelly Wilkinson, Indianapolis Star, "Eric Holcomb on Indiana's first dog, Henry: 'The government life chose him.'," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were both on a list of 25 potential nominees that Leo vetted for Trump in 2016. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Watershed Moment in American History," 10 July 2018 Defendants admit as much, conceding that several of ORR’s vetting practices have no empirical foundation, but are rather self-serving hedges against political reproach. Edvard Pettersson, Bloomberg.com, "‘Irrational’ Child-Detention Process Leaves Minors in Custody," 25 June 2018 Bethany Christian Services runs a school for 16 children in Anne Arundel County and arranges for their medical and mental health care while vetting relatives to take them in. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Dozens of children believed to have been separated from parents at the border are being cared for in Maryland," 20 June 2018 Students and faculty at a Massachusetts high school spend hours every year vetting their yearbook. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "Student used quote in yearbook. ‘Horrified’ principal learned of its origins, Mass. officials say," 14 June 2018 The board has two commission picks of its own to make, and the Rules Committee is expected to begin vetting candidates next week. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF Mayor Mark Farrell renominates 2 for police commission that Supes rejected," 17 May 2018 The hotel companies say their private lodgings are vetted, outfitted and maintained to hotel standards. New York Times, "Blurring Lines, Hotels Get Into the Home-Sharing Business," 2 July 2018 In the run-up to selecting Gorsuch, Mr. Trump met with three contenders and White House officials vetted several more. CBS News, "Supreme Court nomination, confirmation process likely to mimic Gorsuch playbook," 29 June 2018 The government’s vetting process includes home visits and fingerprinting every member of a household where a child will be living. Tony Perry, BostonGlobe.com, "Most migrant children under 5 won’t be reunited with parents by deadline," 9 July 2018

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

Noun

1848, in the meaning defined above

Adjective or noun

1848, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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Statistics for vet

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vet

The first known use of vet was in 1848

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More Definitions for vet

vet

verb

English Language Learners Definition of vet

: to investigate (someone) thoroughly to see if they should be approved or accepted for a job

: to check (something) carefully to make sure it is acceptable

vet

noun
\ˈvet \

Kids Definition of vet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

vet

noun

Kids Definition of vet (Entry 2 of 2)

vet

noun
\ˈvet \

Medical Definition of vet 

(Entry 1 of 2)

vetted; vetting

Medical Definition of vet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to provide veterinary care for (an animal) or medical care for (a person)

2 : to subject (a person or animal) to a physical examination or checkup

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Comments on vet

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