1 [vent]
an opening, as in a wall, serving as an outlet for air, smoke, fumes, or the like.
an opening at the earth's surface from which volcanic material, as lava, steam, or gas, is emitted.
Zoology. the anal or excretory opening of animals, especially of those below mammals, as birds and reptiles.
the small opening at the breech of a gun by which fire is communicated to the charge.
a means of exit or escape; an outlet, as from confinement.
expression; utterance; release: to give vent to one's emotions.
Obsolete. the act or fact of venting; emission or discharge.
verb (used with object)
to give free play or expression to (an emotion, passion, etc.): to vent rage.
to give public utterance to: to vent one's opinions.
to relieve by giving expression to something: He vented his disappointment by criticizing his successor.
to release or discharge (liquid, smoke, etc.).
to furnish or provide with a vent or vents.
verb (used without object)
to be relieved of pressure or discharged by means of a vent.
(of an otter or other animal) to rise to the surface of the water to breathe.

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English venten to furnish (a vessel) with a vent, by aphesis < Old French esventer (es- ex- + -venter, verbal derivative of vent < Latin ventus wind1), in later use derivative of the E noun; (noun) partly < French vent (< Latin ventus), partly by aphesis < French évent (Old French esvent, derivative of esventer), partly derivative of the E v.

ventless, adjective
unvented, adjective Unabridged


2 [vent]
a slit in the back or side of a coat, jacket, or other garment, at the bottom part of a seam.

1400–50; late Middle English vente; replacing Middle English fente < Middle French, derivative of fendre to slit < Latin findere to split Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To vent
World English Dictionary
vent1 (vɛnt)
1.  a small opening for the passage or escape of fumes, liquids, etc
2.  the shaft of a volcano or an aperture in the earth's crust through which lava and gases erupt
3.  the external opening of the urinary or genital systems of lower vertebrates
4.  a small aperture at the breech of old guns through which the charge was ignited
5.  an exit, escape, or passage
6.  give vent to to release (an emotion, passion, idea, etc) in an utterance or outburst
7.  to release or give expression or utterance to (an emotion, idea, etc): he vents his anger on his wife
8.  to provide a vent for or make vents in
9.  to let out (steam, liquid, etc) through a vent
[C14: from Old French esventer to blow out, from ex-1 + venter, from Vulgar Latin ventāre (unattested) to be windy, from Latin ventus wind]

vent2 (vɛnt)
1.  a vertical slit at the back or both sides of a jacket
2.  (tr) to make a vent or vents in (a jacket)
[C15: from Old French fente slit, from fendre to split, from Latin findere to cleave]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., "emit from a confined space," probably aphetic of O.Fr. eventer "let out, expose to air," from V.L. *exventare, from L. ex- "out" + ventus "wind" (see wind (n.)). Sense of "express freely" first recorded 1590s. The noun meaning "hole, opening, outlet" is first recorded
1560s. Meaning "action of venting" is recorded from 1550s. Sense of "divulge, publish" (1590s) is behind phrase vent one's spleen (see spleen).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

vent (věnt)
An opening into a cavity or canal, especially one through which contents are discharged.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vent   (věnt)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. An opening, and the conduit leading to it, in the side or at the top of a volcano, permitting the escape of fumes, a liquid, a gas, or steam.

    1. The excretory opening of the digestive tract in animals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Also called cloaca.

    2. See cloaca.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with vent, also see give vent to.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Ideally, the vent should be centered under the roof peak.
Organizational culture is successful when complaints are allowed adequately to
  vent steam.
These creatures are able to survive without sunlight because of the heat and
  minerals provided by the vent.
Water issues from a vent at temperatures that can exceed boiling.
Idioms & Phrases
Image for vent
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature