Definition of veteran in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈvedərən/
Pronunciation: /ˈvetrən/


1A person who has had long experience in a particular field.
Example sentences
  • The new players have provided tough competition to the veterans in the field.
  • This veteran found the experience so outlandish that he could not tell anyone about it.
  • Separately, however, they were veterans of the festival experience as solo performers.
old hand, past master, doyen, vet
informal old-timer, old stager, old warhorse
long-serving, seasoned, old, hardened;
adept, expert, well trained, practiced, experienced, senior
informal battle-scarred
1.1A person who has served in the military: a veteran of two world wars
More example sentences
  • He was one of several MPs from all parties who supported those campaigning for a medal for veterans who served in Egypt.
  • Army veterans who served in World War Two have joined the campaign to save their former regiment.
  • The description was wholeheartedly endorsed by veterans who served under the Brigadier.


Early 16th century: from French vétéran or Latin veteranus, from vetus 'old'.

  • Veteran comes via French from Latin vetus ‘old’, also the source of inveterate (Late Middle English) ‘long-standing’. Vet, the abbreviation, is recorded from the mid 19th century. The other kind of vet, also mid 19th-century, is a shortening of veterinary [18th] from Latin veterinarius, from veterinae ‘cattle’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vet·er·an

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