vet

noun
\ ˈvet How to pronounce vet (audio) \

Definition of vet

 (Entry 1 of 3)

vet

adjective or noun

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 David Walker needed food and water, and his pet dog Angel, needed kibble and a trip to the vet for a swollen paw. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "Born into volunteering, Eva Longoria helps San Antonio Food Bank deliver the goods," 23 Feb. 2021 On Saturday, The New York Times interviewed Scott Willoughby, an Army vet in a Dallas suburb who had to drain his personal savings to pay a $16,752 electric bill. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Grand American Tradition of Price-Gouging in an Emergency," 22 Feb. 2021 In 2025, just one dystopian year after the supposed end of the Russo-Ukraine war, an army vet, Sergiy (Andriy Rymaruk), ekes out a living trucking water to polluted areas of his native Eastern Ukraine. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Atlantis’ Review: Sunken Souls," 21 Jan. 2021 My dad’s an Army vet, and his grandfathers and my father-in-law served in World War II. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "It became easy to rip Matt Patricia as Detroit Lions head coach. Here's why I supported him," 6 Dec. 2020 After a happy reunion with his owner, Stout got checked out by an emergency vet. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Texas paramedic rescues dog that fell off 70-foot cliff," 14 Nov. 2020 Mier, 79, is a military vet, a former public health official and former San Antonian with lots on his mind as the nation continues to grapple not only with rising COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations but its racial history. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: Time is running out to talk to the veterans in our lives and to learn from their stories," 12 Nov. 2020 Here's hoping for a nice, fat fine for Bostic, an eighth-year vet who should know better. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season," 26 Oct. 2020 Harvey Grant, father of Nuggets forward Jerami and an NBA vet, was there, too, watching his son pour in a team-high 25 points against Houston. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Keeler: Kobe Bryant leaves behind complicated legacy in Colorado, where he was the best of enemies," 26 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Two community members complained during Tuesday’s board meeting that the board did not give the public time to see or vet the committee members beforehand. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego school board adds 46 people to superintendent search committee," 25 Feb. 2021 Reach out to friends and peers, engage with your fellow professionals to vet your ideas. Liz Frazier, Forbes, "Survivor Stories: Insights And Advice From Small Local Businesses That Prevailed Over 2020," 25 Feb. 2021 Senate committees are poised to vet at least three separate proposals. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Preaching vaccines, bonnet scheme, well water: News from around our 50 states," 22 Feb. 2021 The senators will then forward the names to the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee to review the applications, vet the candidates and interview them. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Former San Antonio federal prosecutors among names who want U.S. attorney post," 15 Feb. 2021 That danger, and the use of options in more complex strategies, are why industry regulators require brokerages to vet their customers. Sarah Ponczek, BostonGlobe.com, "Robinhood’s lucrative options-trading platform attracts mounting scrutiny," 4 Feb. 2021 The premiere venue for the comedy industry to vet unknown comedians is Montreal’s prestigious Just for Laughs festival. John Roy, Vulture, "Nick Vatterott’s Late-Night Debut Brilliantly Tests the Audience’s Comfort," 2 Feb. 2021 Trump also operated largely on whim, disregarding the Justice Department office that previous presidents relied on to vet clemency requests for full pardons or commutations of sentences. al, "‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic: ‘I was too innocent and too GAY’ for Trump pardon," 21 Jan. 2021 Council members will vet the candidates and choose several finalists who will be interviewed by the council at a special meeting Tuesday, officials said. Jessica Williams, NOLA.com, "See who wants to fill Jason Williams' seat on the New Orleans City Council," 21 Jan. 2021

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

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vet. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vet

Nglish: Translation of vet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vet for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vet

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