vet·er·an | \ ˈve-tə-rən , ˈve-trən \

Definition of veteran 

1a : a former member of the armed forces

b : an old soldier of long service

2 : a person of long experience usually in some occupation or skill (such as politics or the arts)

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Other words from veteran

veteran adjective

Examples of veteran in a Sentence

a veteran of the political scene He's a 10-year veteran with the team.

Recent Examples on the Web

Palin, in a Monday Facebook post, claimed that Cohen portrayed himself as a wounded U.S. veteran. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sarah Palin Reveals Details of Sacha Baron Cohen Showtime Interview," 13 July 2018 As a result, only 8 percent of veterans were able to apply for health care online. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Matt Cutts of the U.S. Digital Service on Recode Decode," 12 July 2018 The equal and opposite reaction to that desire is a suppressing of the draft-day prices of non-superstar veterans who may not win fantasy leagues single-handedly, but will almost certainly deliver an easy payoff. Michael Beller,, "Fantasy Football 2018: The Boring All-Star Team," 10 July 2018 The Milwaukee Brewers honored military veterans in a Fourth of July ceremony Wednesday ahead of a win over the Minnesota Twins. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Milwaukee Brewers honor military veterans with Fourth of July ceremony," 6 July 2018 Veterans helping veterans is a concept that extends beyond the guests. Brian Macquarrie,, "At Maine retreat, disabled veterans find sense of belonging," 6 July 2018 In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Legion Post 105 to install the Valor Green that honors veterans. Hartford Courant,, "Albert D. Thomas," 5 July 2018 David Shulkin, secretary of veterans affairs Shulkin had been the frontrunner in the competition over the next Cabinet member to go. Emily Stewart, Vox, "EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt joins the very long list of high-profile White House departures," 5 July 2018 Enter Oskar’s Slider Bar, a new addition to the restaurant scene courtesy of two industry veterans. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Oskar's fills a food void in Louisville we didn't know we had | Review," 4 July 2018

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

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for veteran

Latin veteranus, from veteranus, adjective, old, of long experience, from veter-, vetus old — more at wether

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Statistics for veteran

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for veteran

The first known use of veteran was in 1509

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English Language Learners Definition of veteran

: someone who fought in a war as a soldier, sailor, etc.

: someone who has a lot of experience in a particular activity, job, etc.


vet·er·an | \ ˈve-tə-rən , ˈve-trən \

Kids Definition of veteran

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who has had long experience

2 : a former member of the armed forces especially in war



Kids Definition of veteran (Entry 2 of 2)

: having gained skill through experience She is a veteran dog trainer.

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More from Merriam-Webster on veteran

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for veteran

Spanish Central: Translation of veteran

Nglish: Translation of veteran for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of veteran for Arabic Speakers

Comments on veteran

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the setting in which something occurs

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