vet

noun
\ ˈvet \

Definition of vet 

(Entry 1 of 3)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Your vet may also want to do a professional cleaning on your pup's teeth. Southern Living, "10 Things You Should Know About Your Dog," 3 July 2018 For the vets themselves, that sometimes subtle-on-screen dedication to the truth feels important. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Today’s veterans are gradually returning to a new civilian-life op—Hollywood," 17 June 2018 The best part: There are 2,000 free tickets for vets and active military members. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "Here Are the Five Coolest Things Happening in L.A. This Weekend," 7 June 2018 Gather health records, medication information, and proof of vaccinations from your vet—and carry them with you. Rachel Rabkin Peachman, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Travel Safely With Pets," 25 May 2018 Consult your vet to find out what’s working best in your area this year—this changes periodically as local insect populations develop resistance to specific drugs. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Are You Ready for Ticks This Summer?," 14 May 2018 In keeping with tradition, the team honored a veteran at the game, and for that first Pride Night, the Mets honored a gay Army vet. NBC News, "Yankees set to be only MLB team not to host LGBTQ Pride Night," 5 July 2018 This video and article are for informational purposes only and the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment from a licensed and experienced vet. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "How to Give Your Pet CPR," 5 July 2018 But after a vet sedated Chucky, the Oxford Fire Department came to pry the trap off. Taylor Jade Powell, Cincinnati.com, "3 headlines: Cincy's most expensive home, Chucky the groundhog and zoo animals keep cool," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The hotel companies say their private lodgings are vetted, outfitted and maintained to hotel standards. New York Times, "Blurring Lines, Hotels Get Into the Home-Sharing Business," 2 July 2018 In the run-up to selecting Gorsuch, Mr. Trump met with three contenders and White House officials vetted several more. CBS News, "Supreme Court nomination, confirmation process likely to mimic Gorsuch playbook," 29 June 2018 The government’s vetting process includes home visits and fingerprinting every member of a household where a child will be living. Tony Perry, BostonGlobe.com, "Most migrant children under 5 won’t be reunited with parents by deadline," 9 July 2018 Davis said that ultimately, in order for a theory to hold up, it must be vetted, be repeatable by other scholars, and result in something that makes sense. Jane Bracher, CNN, "The Voynich manuscript: Will this medieval mystery ever be solved?," 15 June 2018 Tepper was able to finance most of the $2.275 billion in cash, eliminating the need for minority partners, all of whom would have been subject to the NFL’s vetting process. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "How much Pittsburgh will fans see in Panthers once David Tepper takes over as owner? | Charlotte Observer," 18 May 2018 Asked about the adequacy of vetting process Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that such questions are better raised with the White House. CBS News, "Lax vetting of Trump nominees begins to frustrate some senators," 25 Apr. 2018 Trump’s White House has had difficulty attracting outside talent as a result of the Russia probe, the complicated government vetting process and the cap on federal employees’ salaries. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump’s Chaos Is Becoming America’s Chaos," 5 Mar. 2018 The judges were vetted by Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the conservative Federalist Society and Trump’s top outside legal adviser. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vet

Statistics for vet

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vet

The first known use of vet was in 1848

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of vet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

vet

noun

Kids Definition of vet (Entry 2 of 2)

vet

noun
\ ˈvet \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on vet

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!