vet·​er·​an | \ ˈve-tə-rən How to pronounce veteran (audio) , 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 Autoplay Qinxuan Pan, accused of gunning down Yale University graduate student and U.S. Army veteran Kevin Jiang earlier this year, is expected to ask a judge in Connecticut to reduce his $20 million bail in a hearing scheduled for next month. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 3 June 2021 The oldest is Gary Wickersham, who, according to his attorney, is an 80-year-old Army veteran. Clare Hymes, Cassidy Mcdonald, CBS News, 1 June 2021 An Army veteran who had worked all his life, Fishburn enrolled at Cleveland State University in Ohio in 2016. NBC News, 1 June 2021 Beau, an Iraq war veteran, died of brain cancer in 2015. Editors, USA TODAY, 31 May 2021 The President spoke about the death of his own son, Beau Biden, who was an Iraq War veteran. Kate Sullivan, CNN, 31 May 2021 Mike Byer, an Army veteran himself, is Program Director for Operation Song and produced the album. Pam Windsor, Forbes, 29 May 2021 In 2016, an Army veteran of two Afghanistan tours killed one person and wounded several others during a shooting rampage in west Houston before being gunned down by a SWAT officer., 29 May 2021 Power foreman Timothy Romo, an Air Force veteran, spent over 22 years with the VTA, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 28 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for veteran

Time Traveler

The first known use of veteran was in 1509

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Statistics for veteran

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Veteran.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for veteran



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 How to pronounce veteran (audio) , 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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