Definition of vehicle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvēək(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /ˈvēˌhik(ə)l/


1A thing used for transporting people or goods, especially on land, such as a car, truck, or cart.
Example sentences
  • One part of the terminal is onshore, and land transport vehicles will be unloaded there.
  • Possible modes of transport include ambulances, local transport vehicles, military vehicles, helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, and rescue boats.
  • Many buses and large transport vehicles were sent to evacuate the community.
means of transport, conveyance, motor vehicle
2A thing used to express, embody, or fulfill something: I use paint as a vehicle for my ideas
More example sentences
  • Part of the reason for this is that the federal government's power to accede to international treaties has on occasion been a vehicle for increasing federal power.
  • And without a doubt, the GOP has merely become a vehicle for unbridled corporate power.
  • And yet none of the current candidates has been capable of becoming the vehicle for those forces.
channel, medium, conduit, means, means of expression, agency, agent, instrument, mechanism, organ, apparatus
2.1A substance that facilitates the use of a drug, pigment, or other material mixed with it.
Example sentences
  • The pigments, applied with water as a vehicle, are bound by the carbonation of the slaked lime in the fresh plaster.
  • The pill is unfortunately too expensive to serve as a food preserver, but researchers are already working on a cheaper nitric oxide vehicle.
  • On the other hand, aerosolized particles that circumvent the blood-brain barrier might someday serve as delivery vehicles for drugs.
2.2The figurative language used in a metaphor, as distinct from the metaphor’s subject. Often contrasted with tenor2 (sense 1).
2.3A movie, television program, song, etc., that is intended to display the leading performer to the best advantage.
Example sentences
  • Where these films went wrong and the original Carry On films went right, is that most of the modern crop of British comedy films are star vehicles as opposed to ensemble pieces.
  • It might have been, so rumour had it, a film vehicle for those Latino leading ladies Madonna and Jennifer Lopez.
  • The songs are vehicles for James' expressiveness and storytelling.


Early 17th century: from French véhicule or Latin vehiculum, from vehere 'carry'.

  • Vehicle is from Latin vehiculum, from vehere ‘carry’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ve·hi·cle

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