- a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like: a veteran of the police force; a veteran of many sports competitions.
- a person who has served in a military force, especially one who has fought in a war: a Vietnam veteran.
- (of soldiers) having had service or experience in warfare: veteran troops.
- experienced through long service or practice; having served for a long period: a veteran member of Congress.
- of, relating to, or characteristic of veterans.
- a person or thing that has given long service in some capacity
- (as modifier)veteran firemen
- a soldier who has seen considerable active service
- (as modifier)veteran soldier
- US and Canadian a person who has served in the military forces
- See veteran car
n.c.1500, “old experienced soldier,” from French vétéran, from Latin veteranus “old,” from vetus (genitive veteris) “old,” from PIE *wetus- “year” (cf. Sanskrit vatsa- “year,” Greek etos “year,” Hittite witish “year,” Old Church Slavonic vetuchu “old,” Old Lithuanian vetušas “old, aged”). Latin vetus also is the ultimate source of Italian vecchio, French vieux, Spanish viejo. General sense of “one who has seen long service in any office or position” is attested from 1590s. The adjective first recorded 1610s.