• synonyms


[vast, vahst]
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adjective, vast·er, vast·est.
  1. of very great area or extent; immense: the vast reaches of outer space.
  2. of very great size or proportions; huge; enormous: vast piles of rubble left in the wake of the war.
  3. very great in number, quantity, amount, etc.: vast sums of money.
  4. very great in degree, intensity, etc.: an artisan of vast skill.
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  1. Literary. an immense or boundless expanse or space.
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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


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1. measureless, boundless, gigantic, colossal, stupendous.


1. small.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vastness

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She evinced boundless faith in the vastness of Maurice's intellect.


    Emile Zola

  • The vastness of the antique press seemed brightened and all refreshed by them.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • A conception—a reality here—that was numbing in its vastness.

    The World Beyond

    Raymond King Cummings

  • He is caught by the fascination of its vastness, of its magnificent possibilities.

  • He remembered the vastness and the rawness of the uncontrolled atmosphere.

    Second Sight

    Basil Eugene Wells

British Dictionary definitions for vastness


  1. unusually large in size, extent, degree, or number; immense
  2. (prenominal) (intensifier)in vast haste
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  1. the vast mainly poetic immense or boundless space
  2. British dialect a very great amount or number
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Derived Formsvastity, nounvastly, adverbvastness, 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

Word Origin and History for vastness



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper