Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: ve·to
Pronunciation: /ˈvēdō

Definition of veto in English:

noun (plural vetoes)

1A constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body: the legislature would have a veto over appointments to key posts
More example sentences
  • From this perspective, the U.S. Senate has a veto over treaties negotiated by the executive, and constitutional courts have a veto over legislation.
  • Clearly the present set-up gives the five major powers on the Security Council a veto on any decisions taken by UN member states.
  • It had its own assembly and militia, the power of veto over federal decisions and control of education and other public services.
1.1A rejection of a law.
Example sentences
  • The veto is another blow to his leadership following the dismissal of the Government Administration and Home Affairs Minister early this month.
  • The legislation did not define the phrase ‘just cause’ when considering dismissal or veto of council members, giving the minister carte blanche.
  • The problem with that is that a veto or a threatened veto by France would have had the result of the leader still being in power.
rejection, dismissal;
informal thumbs down, red light
1.2A prohibition: his veto on our drinking after the meal was annoying
More example sentences
  • Few people want children - or, for that matter, anyone else - to have veto power over the decisions that parents make.
  • Now we don't have to really divide or to make vetoes on people.
  • The Cardinal had tried to impose an immediate veto on all contacts with the media.

verb (vetoes, vetoing, vetoed)

[with object] Back to top  
1Exercise a veto against (a decision or proposal made by a law-making body): the president vetoed the bill
More example sentences
  • Under the terms of the Luxembourg Compromise, governments would retain their right to veto proposals where they deemed a vital national interest to be at stake.
  • Unfortunately, the plan was vetoed by the British government.
  • In fact, if a proposal is vetoed by the UN, it does not go ahead.
reject, turn down, throw out, dismiss;
prohibit, forbid, interdict, proscribe, disallow, embargo, ban, rule out, say no to
informal kill, put the kibosh on, give the thumbs down to, give the red light to
1.1Refuse to accept or allow: the film star often has a right to veto the pictures used for publicity
More example sentences
  • Tell them tonight, and I'll be here tomorrow morning before school to tell you if the idea is accepted or vetoed.
  • This allows software to veto certain state transitions when it is not safe to do so.
  • He faced resistance in his own company-his management team tended to rule by consensus and veto his more outlandish ideas.


early 17th century: from Latin, literally 'I forbid', used by Roman tribunes of the people when opposing measures of the Senate.



Example sentences
  • There is some grey area on what ‘technical’ can mean, but the vetoer receives the benefit of the doubt.
  • As one fast food consultant explained of the new fruit option, ‘It's basically a way to veto the vetoer.’

Definition of veto in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?