[ vee-toh ]
/ ˈvi toʊ /

noun, plural ve·toes. Also called veto power (for defs 1, 4).

verb (used with object), ve·toed, ve·to·ing.

to reject (a proposed bill or enactment) by exercising a veto.
to prohibit emphatically.

Origin of veto

First recorded in 1620–30, veto is from the Latin word vetō I forbid


ve·to·er, noun pre·ve·to, noun, plural pre·ve·toes, verb (used with object), pre·ve·toed, pre·ve·to·ing. re·ve·to, verb (used with object), re·ve·toed, re·ve·to·ing. un·ve·toed, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for veto

British Dictionary definitions for veto

/ (ˈviːtəʊ) /

noun plural -toes

the power to prevent legislation or action proposed by others; prohibition the presidential veto
the exercise of this power
Also called: veto message US government a document containing the reasons why a chief executive has vetoed a measure

verb -toes, -toing or -toed (tr)

to refuse consent to (a proposal, esp a government bill)
to prohibit, ban, or forbid her parents vetoed her trip

Derived forms of veto

vetoer, noun vetoless, adjective

Word Origin for veto

C17: from Latin: I forbid, from vetāre to forbid

Cultural definitions for veto (1 of 2)


A vote that blocks a decision. In the United Nations, for example, each of the five permanent members of the Security Council has the power of veto.

Cultural definitions for veto (2 of 2)


The power of a president or governor to reject a bill proposed by a legislature by refusing to sign it into law. The president or governor actually writes the word veto (Latin for “I forbid”) on the bill and sends it back to the legislature with a statement of his or her objections. The legislature may choose to comply by withdrawing or revising the bill, or it can override the veto and pass the law, by a two-thirds vote in each house.

notes for veto

Originally intended to prevent Congress from passing unconstitutional laws, the veto is now used by the president as a powerful bargaining tool, especially when his objectives conflict with majority sentiment in Congress. ( See also checks and balances.)