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[vast, vahst] /væst, vɑst/
adjective, vaster, vastest.
of very great area or extent; immense:
the vast reaches of outer space.
of very great size or proportions; huge; enormous:
vast piles of rubble left in the wake of the war.
very great in number, quantity, amount, etc.:
vast sums of money.
very great in degree, intensity, etc.:
an artisan of vast skill.
Literary. an immense or boundless expanse or space.
Origin of vast
First recorded in 1565-75, vast is from the Latin word vastus empty, immense
Related forms
vastly, adverb
vastness, noun
supervast, adjective
supervastly, adverb
supervastness, noun
1. measureless, boundless, gigantic, colossal, stupendous.
1. small. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vastest
Historical Examples
  • Ignorance and poverty are the vastest of the Negro problems.

  • You see, I had two schemes in my head which were the vastest of all my projects.

  • It is one of the vastest and most significant of all human facts.

    Is Life Worth Living? William Hurrell Mallock
  • The church seemed the vastest cavern that had ever been built for worship.

    Hills and the Sea H. Belloc
  • Imagine, you who read, the nave of the vastest cathedral with which you are acquainted.

    Ayesha H. Rider Haggard
  • The vastest study in the world, that which is most closely bound up with the most sacred interests of humanity—History.

  • I venerate the law, and especially our system of law, as one of the vastest products of the human mind.

    The Path of the Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • His purpose was the vastest that any human soul has grasped; and he gave himself to it with all the power of his nature.

  • The baby sovereign of one of the vastest and oldest of empires is shown here in the lap of his father.

  • To judge by the little which the traveller is permitted to see, this establishment is on the vastest scale and perfectly managed.

British Dictionary definitions for vastest


unusually large in size, extent, degree, or number; immense
(prenominal) (intensifier): in vast haste
(mainly poetic) the vast, immense or boundless space
(Brit, dialect) a very great amount or number
Derived Forms
vastity, noun
vastly, adverb
vastness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin vastus deserted
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 vastest



1570s, from Middle French vaste, from Latin vastus "immense, extensive, huge," also "desolate, unoccupied, empty." The two meanings probably originally attached to two separate words, one with a long -a- one with a short -a-, that merged in early Latin (see waste). Very popular early 18c. as an intensifier. Related: Vastly; vastness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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