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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, pertaining to, or characteristic of veterans.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for veterans
  • Experienced plant sale veterans recommend arriving early for the best selection.
  • Reuters first publicized his results last week but provided none of the skepticism being voiced by veterans in the field.
  • So veterans looking for a move into the commercial world often need a crash course in the basics.
  • But he also notes a trend of rising attendance at veterans' events.
  • veterans of the annual gathering said it was the cheeriest they could recall.
  • To veterans of the technology industry, the fuss over social networking sounds all too familiar.
  • veterans were angry when the government opted not to reappoint their ombudsman after he criticised official stinginess.
  • Amid the new opportunities, however, some veterans are struggling.
  • veterans returning home from long months of war are finding themselves in a country with narrowing opportunity.
  • His website does list a number of small sponsors but the top one is a non-profit veterans' organization.
British Dictionary definitions for veterans


/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 veterans



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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