[vast, vahst]

adjective, vast·er, vast·est.

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 formsvast·ly, adverbvast·ness, nounsu·per·vast, adjectivesu·per·vast·ly, adverbsu·per·vast·ness, noun

Synonyms for vast

Antonyms for vast

1. small. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vast

Contemporary Examples of vast

Historical Examples of vast

  • After all, what vast privileges do you lose with your citizenship.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It seemed to have a vast inorganic life of its own, a volition and a whim.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Thrones have toppled and their vast empires have disappeared.

  • The meeting was held in the vast auditorium of the Circus Building, which was filled.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Vast crowds lined the route, afoot and in every kind of vehicle.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

British Dictionary definitions for vast



unusually large in size, extent, degree, or number; immense
(prenominal) (intensifier)in vast haste


the vast mainly poetic immense or boundless space
British dialect a very great amount or number
Derived Formsvastity, nounvastly, adverbvastness, noun

Word Origin for vast

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

Word Origin and History for vast

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