There are 2 main definitions of vault in English:

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vault1

Line breaks: vault
Pronunciation: /vɔːlt
 
/

noun

1A roof in the form of an arch or a series of arches, typical of churches and other large, formal buildings: a Gothic ribbed vault
More example sentences
  • Gothic architecture has a particular look: the pointed or ogival arch, ribbed vaults, rose windows, towers, and tremendous height in the nave, supported by flying buttresses.
  • There is a noticeable acoustic difference between a church with a wooden roof and a similar building with a stone vault, as many choristers will testify.
  • The formerly dark space is now transformed by a series of flowing vaults terminating in a new, open family room.
Synonyms
arched roof, arched ceiling, dome, arch
1.1 literary A thing resembling an arched roof, especially the sky: the vault of heaven
More example sentences
  • There was not a cloud in the entire vault of the sky!
  • The blue vault of the sky was of a hue that made it appear almost solid, the airy clouds across the horizon cloaking mountain peaks in mist.
  • Outside, there were a few unimpressive clouds seeming lost in the vault of the sky.
1.2 Anatomy The arched roof of a cavity, especially that of the skull: the cranial vault
More example sentences
  • At surgery, there was a significant deformity of the cranial vault at the level of the occiput and first and second cervical vertebrae.
  • Scans of his brain showed no nerve compression but did confirm thickening of the skull vault.
  • The bones of the cranium are divided into the skull base and the calvarial vault.
2A large room or chamber used for storage, especially an underground one: a wine vault
More example sentences
  • In recent years the British Museum the V&A and the Dulwich Picture Gallery have all reported losses from open displays or storage vaults.
  • The diary sent to the storage vaults of the museum, hidden from the outside world, all but forgotten.
  • There is a theory that the wine cellar could have been a Bulgarian invention, because monks in the country were said to have been the first people to store wine in cool vaults deep underground.
Synonyms
cellar, basement, underground chamber, crypt, undercroft, catacomb, cavern;
burial chamber, tomb, sepulchre
2.1A secure room in a bank in which valuables are stored: the masterpieces were deposited in the vaults of Swiss banks
More example sentences
  • The bullion was never returned and officials believe it is now stored in the vaults of the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi.
  • Some ‘investments’, such as gem stones, are often said to be stored in Swiss bank vaults, so you can never see them.
  • The silver and gold bullion is stored in underground treasury vaults at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Synonyms
2.2A chamber beneath a church or in a graveyard used for burials: a family vault
More example sentences
  • By the time his body was laid to rest in the family vault in Paddington Old Churchyard in August 1780, he appears to have been impoverished and did not leave a will.
  • He was buried in the family vault in the church at Bawdsey, Suffolk.
  • That stone up there has guarded the entrance to the burial vault at West Kennet Long Barrow for 4000 years.

verb

[with object] (usually as adjective vaulted) Back to top  
1Provide (a building or room) with an arched roof or roofs: a vaulted arcade
More example sentences
  • These small vaulted galleries are low-ceilinged but not claustrophobic because the twin hallways that flank the stair are nearly always in sight.
  • The structure is composed of radiating supporting walls and vaulted galleries.
  • They are entered off long vaulted corridors running the length of the building on each floor.
Synonyms
1.1Construct (a roof) in the form of a vault: an unusual brick vaulted ceiling
More example sentences
  • Many older style vaulted ceilings were constructed by first installing exposed wood beams, then placing wood decking on top of the beams and the roofing material on top of the decking.
  • Some of his designs had vaulted roofs and white-painted stucco - forms and materials that could be used to build quickly and inexpensively.
  • Robin walked into the circular living room, was astounded by the breathtaking columns, marbled floors, crown moldings, and vaulted ceiling.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French voute, based on Latin volvere 'to roll'.

More
  • revolve from (Late Middle English):

    The Latin verb volvere had the sense ‘to turn round, roll, tumble’; add re- in front and you get meaning such as ‘turn back, turn round’. This is the basic idea behind revolve and its offshoots: revolution (Late Middle English) which only came to mean the overthrow of a government in 1600, and which developed the form rev for the turning over of a motor in the early 20th century; and revolt (mid 16th century) initially used politically, and developing the sense ‘to make someone turn away in disgust’ in the mid 18th century. The sense ‘roll, tumble’ of volvere developed into vault, both for the sense ‘leap’ (mid 16th century) which came via Old French volter ‘to turn (a horse), gambol’, and for the arch that springs up to form a roof (Middle English). The turning sense is found in voluble (Middle English) initially used to mean ‘turning’, but was used for words rolling out of the mouth by the late 16th century, and in volume (Late Middle English) originally a rolled scroll rather than a book, but with the sense ‘quantity’ coming from an obsolete meaning ‘size or extent (of a book)’ by the early 16th century. Convoluted (late 18th century) comes from convolvere ‘rolled together, intertwined’ (the plant convolvulus, from the same root, that climbs by turning its stem around a support already existed as a word in Latin, where it could also mean a caterpillar that rolls itself up in a leaf); while devolve (Late Middle English) comes from its opposite devolvere ‘to unroll, roll down’; and involve (Late Middle English) from involvere ‘to roll in’.

Words that rhyme with vault

assault, Balt, exalt, fault, halt, malt, salt, smalt

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There are 2 main definitions of vault in English:

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vault2

Line breaks: vault
Pronunciation: /vɔːlt
 
/

verb

[no object]
1Leap or spring while supporting or propelling oneself with one or both hands or with the help of a pole: he vaulted over the gate
More example sentences
  • With the Senators seemingly moments away from a victory in their final game, hordes of fans began vaulting over the retaining walls and proceeded to swarm the playing field.
  • The driver vaulted over the road divider and came and shook Anand's hand.
  • Cade vaulted over the rail to retrieve the ball.
1.1 [with object] Jump over (an obstacle) by vaulting: Ryker vaulted the barrier
More example sentences
  • Officers followed Weldrick's Alfa Romeo car to the middle of the Humber Bridge where it stopped and the driver was seen vaulting the safety railings before jumping off the bridge.
  • The fiery Frenchman hit the headlines when he was filmed vaulting a barrier and delivering a kung fu-style kick to a Crystal Palace supporter who was taking delight in his sending-off for a foul.
  • I picked up speed, making for the trees, vaulting a fence, catching my foot and falling flat on my face with a jolt that knocked the wind out of me.

noun

Back to top  
An act of vaulting: the barman, with a practised vault of the bar, was again serving wine
More example sentences
  • Hatch didn't get her usual height or distance on her vault, and she also took a step after her landing.
  • Attempting a vault, her right foot missed the springboard and she crashed head first at full speed into the horse.
  • I had to wait for nearly two hours in that heat to take my first vault and that drained some of my energy.
Synonyms
jump, leap, spring, bound, skip, hurdle, clearance, leapfrog, pole vault

Origin

mid 16th century: from Old French volter 'to turn (a horse), gambol', based on Latin volvere 'to roll'.

More
  • revolve from (Late Middle English):

    The Latin verb volvere had the sense ‘to turn round, roll, tumble’; add re- in front and you get meaning such as ‘turn back, turn round’. This is the basic idea behind revolve and its offshoots: revolution (Late Middle English) which only came to mean the overthrow of a government in 1600, and which developed the form rev for the turning over of a motor in the early 20th century; and revolt (mid 16th century) initially used politically, and developing the sense ‘to make someone turn away in disgust’ in the mid 18th century. The sense ‘roll, tumble’ of volvere developed into vault, both for the sense ‘leap’ (mid 16th century) which came via Old French volter ‘to turn (a horse), gambol’, and for the arch that springs up to form a roof (Middle English). The turning sense is found in voluble (Middle English) initially used to mean ‘turning’, but was used for words rolling out of the mouth by the late 16th century, and in volume (Late Middle English) originally a rolled scroll rather than a book, but with the sense ‘quantity’ coming from an obsolete meaning ‘size or extent (of a book)’ by the early 16th century. Convoluted (late 18th century) comes from convolvere ‘rolled together, intertwined’ (the plant convolvulus, from the same root, that climbs by turning its stem around a support already existed as a word in Latin, where it could also mean a caterpillar that rolls itself up in a leaf); while devolve (Late Middle English) comes from its opposite devolvere ‘to unroll, roll down’; and involve (Late Middle English) from involvere ‘to roll in’.

Derivatives

vaulter

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Briain's top vaulter was widely expected to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
  • Five years later, she's one of the top vaulters in the country.
  • Defending champion Tim Lobinger of Germany was one of the vaulters who went through to Sunday's final with 5.70m.

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