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

James Reynolds was later implicated in an unrelated scandal involving unpaid back wages for Revolutionary War veterans. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Before Jeff Bezos, Alexander Hamilton Outsmarted His Blackmailers with the Reynolds Pamphlet," 8 Feb. 2019 One is provision 107, which has to do with how monthly housing allowances for student veterans are calculated. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The VA’s latest issues paying student veterans their benefits, explained," 11 Dec. 2018 These issues are particularly impactful on the 1.1 million of us caring for post-9/11 veterans—especially those caregivers who are 30 years old or younger. Sonia Yulfo, Marie Claire, "My Dad Was Injured in Afghanistan. Now I Take Care of Him Full-Time," 12 Nov. 2018 Arizonans want someone who focuses on standing up for veterans, making healthcare more affordable, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and fighting for Arizona jobs. Jill Filipovic, Harper's BAZAAR, "Your State-by-State Guide to Women Running in the Midterms," 31 Oct. 2018 Next door, the Abiel Smith School served as the nation’s oldest public school for African American children and eventually a headquarters for black Civil War veterans. Elizabeth Wellington, Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Best Museums in Boston You'll Want To Visit," 17 July 2018 The following April, the pair filled out a form claiming that Chizer was a service-disabled veteran with majority ownership of the company. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland men face sentencing for fraudulent bidding under guise that disabled veteran was majority owner of business," 12 July 2018 Palin claimed in a recent blog post that Cohen pretended to be a disabled veteran in an interview. Morgan Greene,, "Former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh, joins Sarah Palin: I was 'duped' by Sacha Baron Cohen — sort of," 12 July 2018 Identifying veterans of historic conflicts is a priority for both history enthusiasts and the U.S military alike. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "AI Could Help You Identify Civil War Vets in Your Family Tree," 4 Mar. 2019

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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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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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

What made you want to look up veteran? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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