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[vet-er-uh n, ve-truh n] /ˈvɛt ər ən, ˈvɛ trən/
a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like:
a veteran of the police force; a veteran of many sports competitions.
a person who has served in a military force, especially one who has fought in a war:
a Vietnam veteran.
(of soldiers) having had service or experience in warfare:
veteran troops.
experienced through long service or practice; having served for a long period:
a veteran member of Congress.
of, relating to, or characteristic of veterans.
Origin of veteran
1495-1505; < Latin veterānus mature, experienced, equivalent to veter- (stem of vetus) old + -ānus -an
Related forms
nonveteran, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for veteran
  • Phoenix is the nation's largest private university and the one with the biggest piece of the military-student and veteran market.
  • At the same time, veteran educators worry about overreliance on a single sending country.
  • GM is playing it safe with its promised electric car, choosing a veteran battery supplier.
  • Green is a communications technology and research veteran.
  • He's also a real fighter and can be quite aggressive, a true veteran of the science wars.
  • You'll grab a board and head to the beach with veteran instructors-and be hanging ten before you know it.
  • Four noted veteran players with considerable histories together-the.
  • The well-made works of the veteran choreographer are always pleasant, if rarely stirring.
  • Fox, worried that it had a runaway production on its hands, sent a veteran producer to the set.
  • So said a veteran executive as he announced his surprise retirement last month.
British Dictionary definitions for veteran


/ˈvɛtərən; ˈvɛtrən/
  1. a person or thing that has given long service in some capacity
  2. (as modifier): veteran firemen
  1. a soldier who has seen considerable active service
  2. (as modifier): veteran soldier
(US & Canadian) a person who has served in the military forces
Word Origin
C16: from Latin veterānus, from vetus old
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 veteran

c.1500, "old experienced soldier," from French vétéran, from Latin veteranus "old," from vetus (genitive veteris) "old," from PIE *wetus- "year" (cf. Sanskrit vatsa- "year," Greek etos "year," Hittite witish "year," Old Church Slavonic vetuchu "old," Old Lithuanian vetušas "old, aged"). Latin vetus also is the ultimate source of Italian vecchio, French vieux, Spanish viejo. General sense of "one who has seen long service in any office or position" is attested from 1590s. The adjective first recorded 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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