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[vee-i-kuh l or, sometimes, vee-hi-] /ˈvi ɪ kəl or, sometimes, ˈvi hɪ-/
any means in or by which someone travels or something is carried or conveyed; a means of conveyance or transport:
a motor vehicle; space vehicles.
a conveyance moving on wheels, runners, tracks, or the like, as a cart, sled, automobile, or tractor.
a means of transmission or passage:
Air is the vehicle of sound.
a carrier, as of infection.
a medium of communication, expression, or display:
The novel is a fitting vehicle for his talents. Language is the vehicle of thought.
Theater, Movies. a play, screenplay, or the like, having a role suited to the talents of and often written for a specific performer.
a means of accomplishing a purpose:
College is a vehicle for success.
Rhetoric. the thing or idea to which the subject of a metaphor is compared, as “rose” in “she is a rose.”.
Compare tenor (def 3).
Pharmacology. a substance, usually fluid, possessing little or no medicinal action, used as a medium for active remedies.
Painting. a liquid, as oil, in which a pigment is mixed before being applied to a surface.
Origin of vehicle
1605-15; < Latin vehiculum, equivalent to veh(ere) to convey + -i- -i- + -culum -cle2
Pronunciation note
Because the primary stress in vehicle is on the first syllable, the
[h] /h/ (Show IPA)
in the second syllable tends to disappear:
[vee-i-kuh l] /ˈvi ɪ kəl/ .
A pronunciation with primary stress on the second syllable and a fully pronounced [h] /h/ is usually considered nonstandard: [vee-hik-uh l] /viˈhɪk əl/ . In the adjective vehicular, where the primary stress is normally on the second syllable, the [h] /h/ is always pronounced. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vehicles
  • We pull into a lot and are surprised that many vehicles are already here.
  • All vehicles should be got out of hearing of the enemy before the troops move, and then move off quietly.
  • The vehicles employed to transmit these happy influences are no other than grave-clothes.
  • Armored police vehicles come flying around corners toward taunting students, who pelt them with rocks.
  • Smoking and all other tobacco usage is permitted only in private vehicles.
  • We chat as he presses the button that raises the gate for incoming vehicles.
  • As the number of vehicles increases, it isn't clear how high per-mile tolls will go to keep traffic moving.
  • If you are driving university vehicles on your own, know what your parking options are.
  • Another imagined a car-sharing system that would let people rent out their vehicles while they're not in use.
  • The shooter was subdued by armed students who got their guns out of their vehicles.
British Dictionary definitions for vehicles


any conveyance in or by which people or objects are transported, esp one fitted with wheels
a medium for the expression, communication, or achievement of ideas, information, power, etc
(pharmacol) a therapeutically inactive substance mixed with the active ingredient to give bulk to a medicine
Also called base. a painting medium, such as oil, in which pigments are suspended
(in the performing arts) a play, musical composition, etc, that enables a particular performer to display his talents
a rocket excluding its payload
Derived Forms
vehicular (vɪˈhɪkjʊlə) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vehiculum, from vehere to carry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vehicles



1610s, "a medium through which a drug or medicine is administered," also "any means of conveying or transmitting," from French véhicule, from Latin vehiculum "means of transport, a vehicle," from vehere "to carry," from PIE *wegh- "to go, transport in a vehicle" (cf. Old English wegan "to carry;" Old Norse vegr, Old High German weg "way;" Middle Dutch wagen "wagon;" see wagon). Sense of "cart or other conveyance" first recorded 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vehicles in Medicine

vehicle ve·hi·cle (vē'ĭ-kəl)
A substance of no therapeutic value that is used to convey an active medicine for administration.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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