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

Swartz’s three goals are tied for the team lead with veteran Jose Angulo. Shawn Mcfarland,, "No longer in last place, Hartford Athletic looks to continue point streak against Nashville SC," 15 June 2019 There was also a May 2018 town hall in Pueblo and a recent public conversation with veterans in Alamosa, according to his campaign. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "DC Democrats target Colorado’s Scott Tipton as 2020 House race begins," 14 June 2019 Babcock and Coats have joined forces with industry veterans Robert Cissell and Paul Waxman to launch Instrumental Hospitality Group. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "Ex-Welcome Diner pair to launch new Phoenix restaurant group. Here's what we know," 13 June 2019 With veteran Kevin Pillar reaching base at a .242 clip, the Giants are now focused on evaluating slugger Tyler Austin in left field. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants again forced to tweak outfield plan due to limited production," 12 June 2019 His interactions with combat veterans inspired the founding of Shelter to Soldier in 2012. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Service dog made veteran’s first pitch at Padres game possible," 7 June 2019 The defense is loaded with veterans, many of whom will be counted on to come up big especially with a schedule that features Miami, Tennessee, Auburn and LSU. Matt Murschel,, "Three questions facing the SEC this offseason," 7 June 2019 The Dolphins also drafted Wisconsin outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel in the fifth round, with veterans Mike Hull and Chase Allen also in the mix. David Furones,, "Dolphins LB who grew up watching Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas and Junior Seau hopes to make team as undrafted free agent," 7 June 2019 Phuc is also meeting with Wisconsin Vietnam veterans Monday during her visit to the state. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Vietnam War's 'napalm girl' finds hope and meaning as peace activist," 6 June 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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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