vet

noun
\ ˈvet How to pronounce vet (audio) \

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

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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

Davern, a family friend as well as Navy vet, was the captain that fateful weekend. Nancy Bilyeau, Town & Country, "What Really Happened to Natalie Wood?," 29 Nov. 2018 Congressional candidates who lost in close contests inspired us, such as M.J. Hegar and Amy McGrath—female military vets who took on seemingly unwinnable fights against incumbents deep in the heart of red America—once again put service above self. Marie Claire, "One Week Post-Midterms Here's What We Know," 13 Nov. 2018 Moore said people volunteer to walk dogs, transport dogs, take dogs to the vet and drive them to the airport for adoption travel. Julie Cornell, Houston Chronicle, "Rescue groups help with stray pet population in northwest Harris County," 2 May 2018 Apparently, the scene where Rebecca and Kevin are talking in the hallway of a local vet center really rubbed viewers the wrong way. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Fans Are Enraged With Rebecca After Last Night’s New Episode," 13 Feb. 2019 This Hollywood vet is best known for his role in the '80s hit The Princess Bride. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here's Everything We Know About "Stranger Things" Season 3 So Far," 16 July 2018 This 1st Cavalry Division vet lived this particular story, after all. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Today’s veterans are gradually returning to a new civilian-life op—Hollywood," 17 June 2018 In one case a viewer (who is also a vet) filed a 2015 complaint — overturned a year later by the Michigan Court of Appeals — citing Dr. Pol’s lack of sterile surgical attire while operating on a Boston terrier named Mr. Pigglesworth. Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, "'The Incredible Dr. Pol' couple on becoming late-in-life celebrities and adjusting to TV scrutiny," 5 July 2018 Jaguars:Blake Bortles, 26, is suddenly the grizzled vet ahead of Tanner Lee, a raw rookie, and Cody Kessler, who projects as a career backup but played well in the face of dreadful circumstances in Cleveland two years ago. 17. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Ranking NFL backup QBs by team: Who has best contingency plan?," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beyond vetting purposes, Kaitlin informed me, cohabiting has other functions. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Breathless: Is Living Together Worth the Risk?," 26 Mar. 2019 Zara has a three-part process for vetting its products, according to Zara spokeswoman Amaya Guillermo. Abha Bhattarai, chicagotribune.com, "Why do retailers like Zara and H&M keep making headlines for offensive clothing?," 2 July 2018 In the case of Venezuelans, the review determined that alternative sources of information were sufficient for vetting visa applicants. Laurence Arnold, Bloomberg.com, "Who's Welcome (or Not) in U.S. After Trump Ban Upheld," 27 June 2018 Zinner stepped in, offering to take responsibility for vetting Gawande’s work. Felice J. Freyer, BostonGlobe.com, "Dr. Atul Gawande has long searched for a cure for the health care system," 25 June 2018 Since De Sousa was charged last Thursday with the criminal tax charges, Pugh administration officials have not said whether their process for vetting De Sousa included steps such as hiring private investigators and using lie detector tests. Yvonne Wenger, baltimoresun.com, "City solicitor: Baltimore will improve vetting of candidates after police chief Darryl De Sousa's suspension," 14 May 2018 One shift, says Keen, is that major publishers and social media networks like Facebook and Twitter will be held more accountable for not vetting fake videos. John Brandon, Fox News, "How AI-generated videos could be the next big thing in fake news," 12 Mar. 2018 The plan would have set a date to cut funding for the programs, giving lawmakers a deadline for vetting existing programs and a way to exercise near-unilateral control over which programs stay and which go. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Why Amazon praised Indiana's workforce development efforts," 7 Feb. 2018 There, too, judges older than the retirement cutoff could petition the minister of justice, who would effectively vet them. Monika Nalepa, Washington Post, "Poland may forcibly ‘retire’ dozens of Supreme Court justices," 10 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.

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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

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vet

The first known use of vet was in 1848

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vet

Spanish Central: Translation of vet

Nglish: Translation of vet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vet for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vet

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