[ 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, relating to, or characteristic of veterans.

Origin of veteran

1495–1505; < Latin veterānus mature, experienced, equivalent to veter- (stem of vetus) old + -ānus -an
Related formsnon·vet·er·an, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for veteran

British Dictionary definitions for veteran


/ (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 and Canadian a person who has served in the military forces

Word Origin for veteran

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

Word Origin and History for veteran



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