vet

noun
\ ˈvet How to pronounce vet (audio) \

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

In one case a viewer (who is also a vet) filed a 2015 complaint — overturned a year later by the Michigan Court of Appeals — citing Dr. Pol’s lack of sterile surgical attire while operating on a Boston terrier named Mr. Pigglesworth. Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, "'The Incredible Dr. Pol' couple on becoming late-in-life celebrities and adjusting to TV scrutiny," 5 July 2018 Jaguars:Blake Bortles, 26, is suddenly the grizzled vet ahead of Tanner Lee, a raw rookie, and Cody Kessler, who projects as a career backup but played well in the face of dreadful circumstances in Cleveland two years ago. 17. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Ranking NFL backup QBs by team: Who has best contingency plan?," 27 June 2018 Her husband, Patrick — also is a Navy vet — had taken a job with Ford. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Busted Bra Shop founder helps women find right fit in Detroit, Chicago," 26 June 2018 Light- or short-coated dogs can get sunburned, so ask your vet for recommendations on canine sunscreen because some human sunscreens are toxic if your pet licks them off. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About Hiking With Your Dog," 12 Feb. 2019 Were there a lot of US vets working at your facility? Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The human costs of Black Friday, explained by a former Amazon warehouse manager," 20 Nov. 2018 One of the vets leaned out with a dart gun to deliver a dose of M99, a sedative thousands of times stronger than morphine. Jason Florio, Smithsonian, "The Dangerous Work of Relocating 5,000-Pound Rhinos," 22 May 2018 The statewide television ad features vets from across Montana talking about Tester’s efforts to improve their quality and access to health care. Andrew Rafferty, NBC News, "Tester touts support for vets after Trump attacks," 8 May 2018 Four retired military vets (two Marine, one Navy, one Army) will be on the climb. Peter King, SI.com, "Chris Long’s Next Mountain: After Super Bowl Summit, Eagle Eyes Kilimanjaro For Water Charity," 14 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This partnership will almost certainly fare better than a more famous Walgreens foray into the blood-testing business: Walgreens had partnered with notorious Silicon Valley startup Theranos but failed to independently vet its technology. Charley Grant, WSJ, "There Will Be Blood (Testing)," 11 Oct. 2018 They’ve been vetted by someone who knows you, meaning there’s a better chance that they’re (a) normal, and (b) maybe even compatible with you. Maria Del Russo, The Cut, "Why Won’t Any of My Friends Set Me Up?," 12 July 2018 Bushra Alshalabi, a Syrian who came to the United States in 2016 by way of Egypt, said her 17-year-old brother had been vetted and approved for a visa just last week. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Immigrants In Connecticut Worry About Trump Travel Ban, But Supreme Court Ruling Wins Praise From Others," 29 June 2018 The proposal ultimately died following community backlash, Carranza's abrupt departure in March and concerns that the plan had not been fully vetted. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "Houston ISD trustees unanimously approve $2B budget on second try," 25 June 2018 But, Stephenson added, AT&T's Washington team failed to fully vet Cohen before hiring him, and that Stephenson takes responsibility. Brian Fung, chicagotribune.com, "AT&T CEO says hiring Cohen was 'big mistake,' as top lobbyist retires," 11 May 2018 It has been vetted throughout the church by the hierarchy, and everything he's written has been approved. Lawrence Specker, AL.com, "Spring Hill College backs speaker, despite controversy," 30 Apr. 2018 Police failed to vet the swatting call, the Finch house did not match the description given by the caller, and there was no hostage situation or criminal activity taking place in the home. Roxana Hegeman, Fox News, "Prosecutor: No charges against officer in deadly hoax call," 13 Apr. 2018 People who want to join The League initially sign up for the wait list, and stay there until they are vetted by The League's staff. Julie Washington, cleveland.com, "No swiping: The League dating app for professionals debuts in Cleveland," 10 Apr. 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

11 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce vet (audio) \

Kids Definition of vet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

vet

noun

Kids Definition of vet (Entry 2 of 2)

vet

noun
\ ˈvet How to pronounce vet (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on vet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vet

Spanish Central: Translation of vet

Nglish: Translation of vet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vet for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vet

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