Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Very great in size, number, amount, or quantity.
  • adj. Very great in area or extent; immense.
  • adj. Very great in degree or intensity. See Synonyms at enormous.
  • n. Archaic An immense space.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Very large or wide (literally or figuratively).
  • adj. Very great in size, amount, degree, intensity, or especially extent.
  • n. A vast space.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Waste; desert; desolate; lonely.
  • adj. Of great extent; very spacious or large; also, huge in bulk; immense; enormous.
  • adj. Very great in numbers, quantity, or amount.
  • adj. Very great in force; mighty.
  • adj. Very great in importance.
  • n. A waste region; boundless space; immensity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Wide and vacant or unoccupied; waste; desolate; lonely.
  • Being of great extent or size; very spacious or large; enormous; massive; immense.
  • Very great in quantity, number, or amount.
  • Very great as to degree, intensity, difficulty of accomplishment, importance, etc.; mighty: used also in exaggerated colloquial speech, being much affected in the eighteenth century.
  • Synonyms Spacious.
  • 3 and Colossal, gigantic, prodigious, tremendous, stupendous.
  • n. A boundless waste or space; immensity.
  • n. A great deal; a large quantity or number.
  • n. The darkness of night, in which the prospect is not bounded in by distinct objects: only in the following passage.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. unusually great in size or amount or degree or especially extent or scope

Etymologies

Latin vāstus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin vastus ("void, immense"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Some of the phrases they gave me, such as the phrase "vast majority" used twice were pretty vague, and because I hadn't seen the actual language, I was reporting only what I was told, but it sounded like we were headed toward fairly tight release language on the settlement.

    Mike Lux: The Great Task Force and Settlement Debate

  • Minow coined the phrase "vast wasteland" in 1961, he was referring to television.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • The English word vast is derived from the Sanskrit vas, so Vasudeva also means that vast and all-encompassing Supreme Being within whom all other beings are contained.

    Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar

  • I'd like to blame the French toast, the mocha lattes, the pizza, and what I call the vast buffalo wing conspiracy.

    Joel Schwartzberg: Avoid New Year's PREsolutions

  • He and Hillary have spent their adult lives fighting what she called the vast right wing conspiracy.

    CNN Transcript Aug 25, 2008

  • So it is easier to go back and look at the Hillary health care controversy, to look at her sparring with what she calls the vast right-wing conspiracy over the years.

    CNN Transcript Feb 26, 2008

  • Hillary has her fight with what she calls the vast right wing conspiracy.

    CNN Transcript Sep 21, 2007

  • Hutten had little or none of Luther's religious fervor, but he could not find colors too dark in which to picture to his countrymen the greed of the papal curia, which he described as a vast den, to which everything was dragged which could be filched from the Germans.

    An Introduction to the History of Western Europe

  • In short, of all the seventeen booksellers, only one has vouchsafed even to read my tales; and he -- a literary dabbler himself, I should judge -- has the impertinence to criticise them, proposing what he calls vast improvements, and concluding, after a general sentence of condemnation, with the definitive assurance that he will not be concerned on any terms ....

    Hawthorne (English Men of Letters Series)

  • In short, of all the seventeen booksellers, only one has vouchsafed even to read my tales; and he -- a literary dabbler himself, I should judge -- has the impertinence to criticise them, proposing what he calls vast improvements, and concluding ... that he will not be concerned on any terms ....

    A Study of Hawthorne

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