[ vee-toh ]
/ ˈvi toʊ /
See synonyms for: veto / vetoed on

noun, plural ve·toes.Also called veto power (for defs. 1, 4).

verb (used with object), ve·toed, ve·to·ing.

to reject (a proposed bill or enactment) by exercising a veto.
to prohibit emphatically.



Are you learning Spanish? Or do you just have an interest in foreign languages? Either way, this quiz on Spanish words for animals is for you.
Question 1 of 13
How do you say “cat” 🐈 in Spanish?

Origin of veto

First recorded in 1620–30, veto is from the Latin word vetō I forbid


ve·to·er, nounpre·ve·to, noun, plural pre·ve·toes, verb (used with object), pre·ve·toed, pre·ve·to··ve·to, verb (used with object), re·ve·toed, re·ve·to·ing.un·ve·toed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for veto

British Dictionary definitions for veto

/ (ˈviːtəʊ) /

noun plural -toes

the power to prevent legislation or action proposed by others; prohibitionthe presidential veto
the exercise of this power
Also called: veto message US government a document containing the reasons why a chief executive has vetoed a measure

verb -toes, -toing or -toed (tr)

to refuse consent to (a proposal, esp a government bill)
to prohibit, ban, or forbidher parents vetoed her trip

Derived forms of veto

vetoer, nounvetoless, adjective

Word Origin for veto

C17: from Latin: I forbid, from vetāre to forbid
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

Cultural definitions for veto (1 of 2)


A vote that blocks a decision. In the United Nations, for example, each of the five permanent members of the Security Council has the power of veto.

Cultural definitions for veto (2 of 2)


The power of a president or governor to reject a bill proposed by a legislature by refusing to sign it into law. The president or governor actually writes the word veto (Latin for “I forbid”) on the bill and sends it back to the legislature with a statement of his or her objections. The legislature may choose to comply by withdrawing or revising the bill, or it can override the veto and pass the law, by a two-thirds vote in each house.

notes for veto

Originally intended to prevent Congress from passing unconstitutional laws, the veto is now used by the president as a powerful bargaining tool, especially when his objectives conflict with majority sentiment in Congress. (See also checks and balances.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.