[ vawl-tid ]
/ ˈvɔl tɪd /
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constructed or covered with a vault, as a building or chamber.
provided with a vault.
resembling a vault: the vaulted sky.
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Origin of vaulted

First recorded in 1525–35; vault1 + -ed2


un·der·vault·ed, adjectiveun·vault·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What else does vaulted mean?

Vaulted can variously refer to an arched structure, the action of leaping over something, or when you place something in a secure chamber or box.

In the massively popular online game Fortnite, vaulted is used to describe any weapons or items that have been removed from the game.

Where does vaulted come from?

The term vault, as in arched ceiling, dates back to the 14th century, taken from the Old French variation of the Latin volutus. This same sense gives us terms like vaulted chambers, which were often underground and used to store provisions and valuable items.

These underground vaults might’ve helped to give us the sense of vault as “a strongroom for the safe-deposit or storage of valuables.” Or, as fans of ‘90s sitcom Seinfeld might recall, a vault is also an intangible place where people keep their secrets—such as when Seinfeld vaults a juicy bit of gossip from his neighbor, Kramer (Michael Richards).

Vault was recorded as early as the 16th century, to mean “a jump” or “to leap,” a sense still in use today. So the next time you’re watching a pole-vault champion, think about how they’ve vaulted to the top of their field.

In contemporary internet slang, you’ll likely encounter vaulted in the context of the massively popular online, multi-player video game Fortnite. A weapon or item in this game is said to be vaulted when it is taken out of rotation. It’s as if they have been locked away in the vault where only people with high-level clearance can access them (i.e., the game designers).

Vaulted weapons are still available, however, in the game’s Playground Mode, which is kind of like a private sandbox for a group of players. Fortnite was initially released in 2017, but the slang vaulted in this sense appears to spread in early summer 2018.

How is vaulted used in real life?

Vaulted sees wide and varied use, as we’d expect for such a diverse term. Architects, interior designers, and realtors may speak of vaulted ceilings or structures. Historians may speak of vaulted structures in ancient buildings, such in crypts or cathedrals.

If you’re looking for a vivid way to describe a big leap, try vault. You’ll often encounter it in the construction vaulted to the top of, usually in reference to someone quickly excelling in their field.

In the game Fortnight, items such as special snipers or shotguns can get vaulted–taken out of general circulation–for various reasons: to level out dynamics in gameplay, to add some variety, or because the weapon was only available for a limited time.

More examples of vaulted:

“Sen. Kamala Harris vaulted into serious contention for the Democratic presidential nomination with a campaign kickoff that couldn’t have gone much better.”
—George Skelton, The Mercury News, January 2019


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use vaulted in a sentence