1 [vawlt]
an arched structure, usually made of stones, concrete, or bricks, forming a ceiling or roof over a hall, room, sewer, or other wholly or partially enclosed construction.
an arched structure resembling a vault.
a space, chamber, or passage enclosed by a vault or vaultlike structure, especially one located underground.
an underground chamber, as a cellar or a division of a cellar.
a room or compartment, often built of or lined with steel, reserved for the storage and safekeeping of valuables, especially such a place in a bank.
a strong metal cabinet, usually fireproof and burglarproof, for the storage and safekeeping of valuables, important papers, etc.
a burial chamber.
Anatomy. an arched roof of a cavity.
something likened to an arched roof: the vault of heaven.
verb (used with object)
to construct or cover with a vault.
to make in the form of a vault; arch.
to extend or stretch over in the manner of an arch; overarch: An arbor vaulted the path.
to store in a vault: The paintings will be vaulted when the museum is closed.
verb (used without object)
to curve or bend in the form of a vault.

1300–50; (noun) alteration of Middle English voute < Old French vou(l)te, volte < Vulgar Latin *volvita, for Latin volūta, noun use of feminine past participle of Latin volvere to turn (see revolve); (v.) alteration of Middle English vouten < Old French vou(l)ter, volter, derivative of vou(l)te, volte

vaultlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vault1 (vɔːlt)
1.  an arched structure that forms a roof or ceiling
2.  a room, esp a cellar, having an arched roof down to floor level
3.  a burial chamber, esp when underground
4.  a strongroom for the safe-deposit and storage of valuables
5.  an underground room or part of such a room, used for the storage of wine, food, etc
6.  anatomy any arched or domed bodily cavity or space: the cranial vault
7.  something suggestive of an arched structure, as the sky
8.  (tr) to furnish with or as if with an arched roof
9.  (tr) to construct in the shape of a vault
10.  (intr) to curve, arch, or bend in the shape of a vault
[C14: vaute, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin volvita (unattested) a turn, probably from Latin volvere to roll]

vault2 (vɔːlt)
1.  to spring over (an object), esp with the aid of a long pole or with the hands resting on the object
2.  (intr) to do, achieve, or attain something as if by a leap: he vaulted to fame on the strength of his discovery
3.  dressage to perform or cause to perform a curvet
4.  the act of vaulting
5.  dressage a low leap; curvet
[C16: from Old French voulter to turn, from Italian voltare to turn, from Vulgar Latin volvitāre (unattested) to turn, leap; see vault1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"arched roof or ceiling," c.1300, vaute, from O.Fr. voute "arch, vaulted roof," from V.L. *volta, contraction of *volvita, noun use of fem. of *volvitus, alteration of L. volutus "bowed, arched," pp. of volvere "to turn, turn around, roll" (see vulva). The -l- appeared in Eng. c.1400.

"jump or leap over," 1531 (implied in vaulting), from M.Fr. volter "to gambol, leap," from It. voltare "to turn," from V.L. *volvitare "to turn, leap," frequentative of L. volvere "to turn, turn around, roll" (see vulva).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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