Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An arched structure, usually of masonry or concrete, serving to cover a space.
  • noun An arched overhead covering, such as the sky, that resembles the architectural structure in form.
  • noun A room or space, such as a cellar or storeroom, with arched walls and ceiling, especially when underground.
  • noun A room or compartment, often built of steel, for the safekeeping of valuables.
  • noun A burial chamber, especially when underground.
  • noun Anatomy An arched part of the body, especially the top part of the skull.
  • transitive verb To construct or supply with an arched ceiling; cover with a vault.
  • transitive verb To build or make in the shape of a vault; arch.
  • intransitive verb To jump or leap over, especially with the aid of a support such as the hands or a pole.
  • intransitive verb To jump or leap, especially with the use of the hands or a pole.
  • intransitive verb To accomplish something suddenly or vigorously.
  • noun The act of vaulting; a jump.
  • noun A piece of gymnastic equipment with an upholstered body used especially for vaulting.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In crinoids, same as disk, 5 .
  • noun Same as a cloistered (or cloister) vault.
  • noun A leap or spring.
  • To leap; bound; spring, especially by having something to rest the hands on, as in mounting a horse or clearing a fence.
  • To exhibit equestrian or other feats of tumbling or leaping.
  • In the manège, to curvet.
  • To leap over; especially, to leap over by aid of the hands or a pole: as, to vault a fence.
  • noun An arched roof; a concave roof or roof-like covering; the canopy of heaven.
  • noun In architecture, a continuous arch, or an arched roof, so constructed that the stones, bricks, or other materials of which it is composed mutually sustain themselves in their places upon their abutments, and that their joints radiate from some central point or line (or points or lines).
  • noun An arched apartment or compartment; also, a chamber or compartment, even if not arched or vaulted; especially, a subterranean chamber used for certain specific purposes.
  • noun A place of confinement; a prison.
  • noun A place for storing articles; a cellar: as, wine-vaults; the name is hence frequently given, in the plural, to a place where beer and wine are sold, whether subterranean or not.
  • noun A privy.
  • noun In anatomy, a part forming a dome-like roof to a cavity
  • To form with a vault or arched roof; give the shape or character of an arch or a vault to; arch: as, to vault a passage to a court.
  • To cover with or as with an arch or vault.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Arch.) An arched structure of masonry, forming a ceiling or canopy.
  • noun An arched apartment; especially, a subterranean room, used for storing articles, for a prison, for interment, or the like; a cell; a cellar.
  • noun The canopy of heaven; the sky.
  • noun A leap or bound.
  • noun (Man.) The bound or leap of a horse; a curvet.
  • noun A leap by aid of the hands, or of a pole, springboard, or the like.
  • noun (Arch.) a kind of vault having two parallel abutments, and the same section or profile at all points. It may be rampant, as over a staircase (see Rampant vault, under Rampant), or curved in plan, as around the apse of a church.
  • noun (Arch.) See under 1st Cove, v. t.
  • noun (Arch.) a vault having groins, that is, one in which different cylindrical surfaces intersect one another, as distinguished from a barrel, or wagon, vault.
  • noun (Arch.) See under Rampant.
  • noun (Arch.) a vault differing from others in having solid ribs which bear the weight of the vaulted surface. True Gothic vaults are of this character.
  • noun a partly glazed plate inserted in a pavement or ceiling to admit light to a vault below.
  • intransitive verb To leap; to bound; to jump; to spring.
  • intransitive verb To exhibit feats of tumbling or leaping; to tumble.
  • transitive verb To form with a vault, or to cover with a vault; to give the shape of an arch to; to arch.
  • transitive verb To leap over; esp., to leap over by aid of the hands or a pole.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An arched structure of masonry, forming a ceiling or canopy.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English vaute, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *volvita, volta, from feminine of *volvitus, arched, alteration of Latin volūtus, past participle of volvere, to roll; see wel- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Obsolete French volter, from Old French, from Old Italian voltare, from Vulgar Latin *volvitāre, frequentative of Latin volvere, to turn, roll; see wel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French volte (modern voûte), from Vulgar Latin volvita, an a regularization of voluta (compare modern volute ("spire")), the past participle of volvere ("roll, turn").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French volter ("to turn or spin around; to frolic"), borrowed from Italian voltare, itself from a Vulgar Latin frequentative form of Latin volvere; later assimilated to Etymology 1, above.

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • In a pub is also called 'tap room'.

    February 14, 2008

  • This word often slips my mind in the sense of "leap", e.g. "With her new novel, she has vaulted to the top ranks of pedestrian writers."

    February 3, 2011