3 different meanings for “vet”

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Hi there! It’s Shayna from and today I’m going to teach you 3 different meanings of the word vet. Do you know them all? Let’s find out.

Lots of English words do have multiple meanings, and this is why it’s good to learn words in context, not in isolation or by studying lists. My Vocabulary Builder Courses make it easy to learn new vocabulary because they teach you “families” of words – each lesson focuses on one topic. Click on the link in the video description to join the vocabulary builder and learn over 1000 useful English words.

OK, here we go with 3 different meanings for “vet.”

vet (n.) = veterinarian

Vet as a noun can be short for veterinarian, that’s a doctor for animals. So you might hear someone say they need to take their sick cat or dog to the vet.

vet (n.) = veteran

Vet as a noun can also be short for veteran, meaning someone who previously served in the military. In the United States, the government offers some special benefits for vets.

vet (v.) = examine / evaluate carefully

Finally, the word vet is also a verb meaning to examine and evaluate very carefully, usually with the goal of deciding if that thing/person meets a standard.

When lots of people apply for a job, the hiring manager will vet the candidates – evaluate them in detail, reject the ones that don’t meet the standard, and select the best ones to interview. Or if you have a factory, employees in the quality control department would vet the products, checking them carefully, making sure they meet the standards and removing any with flaws or defects.

Got it? When we say a person is a vet, that could mean they are a veterinarian (animal doctor) or a veteran (someone who previously did military service), and when we use vet as a verb, it means to examine, check, and evaluate carefully.

This was a quick lesson today, but you can continue learning with me inside my Vocabulary Builder Courses. There are two levels and they’re great for pre-intermediate and intermediate English learners. Remember, when you expand your vocabulary, you can express yourself more fluently in English without constantly pausing to think of the next word to say.

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