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See also: VAT, vát, vât, våt, vật, -vat, and -vät




From Middle English vat, a variant of fat (vat, vessel, cask), from Old English fæt (vat, vessel, jar, cup; casket; division), from Proto-Germanic *fatą (vessel), from Proto-Indo-European *pod- (vessel). Cognate with Scots fat, vat, vautt (vat, cask, tub), West Frisian fet, Dutch vat (barrel, cask, vessel, vat), German Fass (barrel, keg, drum, cask, vat), Danish fad (saucer, dish), Swedish fat (dish, barrel, cask, vat), Icelandic fat (dish, saucer). See fat.


  • IPA(key): /væt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æt


vat (plural vats)

  1. A large tub, such as is used for making wine or for tanning.
  2. A square, hollow place on the back of a calcining furnace, where tin ore is laid to dry.
  3. (Roman Catholicism) A vessel for holding holy water.
  4. (dated) A liquid measure and dry measure; especially, a liquid measure in Belgium and Holland, corresponding to the hectolitre of the metric system, which contains 22.01 imperial gallons, or 26.4 standard gallons in the United States. (The old Dutch grain vat averaged 0.762 Winchester bushel. The old London coal vat contained 9 bushels. The solid-measurement vat of Amsterdam contains 40 cubic feet; the wine vat, 241.57 imperial gallons, and the vat for olive oil, 225.45 imperial gallons.)



vat (third-person singular simple present vats, present participle vatting, simple past and past participle vatted)

  1. (transitive) To put into a vat.
  2. (transitive) To blend (wines or spirits) in a vat; figuratively, to mix or blend elements as if with wines or spirits.
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Library of America, 1985, p.114:
      He was thinking of the grape arbor in Kingston, of summer twilight and the murmur of voices darkening into silence as he approached, who meant them, her, no harm; who meant her less than harm, good God; darkening into the pale whisper of her white dress, of the delicate and urgent mammalian whisper of that curious small flesh which he had not begot and in which appeared to be vatted delicately some seething sympathy with the blossoming grape.




Etymology 1Edit

From Middle Dutch vat, from Old Dutch *fat, from Proto-Germanic *fatą.


vat n (plural vaten, diminutive vatje n or vaatje n)

  1. barrel, tank
  2. (biology) vessel
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle Dutch vat. Related to vatten.


vat m (uncountable)

  1. grip, both literal and figurative
    geen vat krijgen op ... — not being able to get a grip on ...
Derived termsEdit



  1. first-, second- and third-person singular present indicative of vatten
  2. imperative of vatten



From German Wasser, English water, and Dutch water.


vat (nominative plural vats)

  1. water