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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An arched structure of masonry, forming a ceiling or canopy.
  • n. A structure resembling a vault, especially (poetic) that formed by the sky.
  • n. A secure, enclosed area, especially an underground room used for burial, or to store valuables, wine etc.
  • v. To build as, or cover with a vault.
  • v. To jump or leap over.
  • n. An act of vaulting; a leap or jump.
  • n. An event in gymanstics performed on a vaulting horse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An arched structure of masonry, forming a ceiling or canopy.
  • n. An arched apartment; especially, a subterranean room, used for storing articles, for a prison, for interment, or the like; a cell; a cellar.
  • n. The canopy of heaven; the sky.
  • n. A leap or bound.
  • n. The bound or leap of a horse; a curvet.
  • n. A leap by aid of the hands, or of a pole, springboard, or the like.
  • intransitive v. To leap; to bound; to jump; to spring.
  • intransitive v. To exhibit feats of tumbling or leaping; to tumble.
  • transitive v. To form with a vault, or to cover with a vault; to give the shape of an arch to; to arch.
  • transitive v. To leap over; esp., to leap over by aid of the hands or a pole.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • n. In crinoids, same as disk, 5 .
  • n. Same as a cloistered (or cloister) vault.
  • n. An arched roof; a concave roof or roof-like covering; the canopy of heaven.
  • n. 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).
  • n. 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.
  • n. A place of confinement; a prison.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A privy.
  • n. In anatomy, a part forming a dome-like roof to a cavity
  • n. A leap or spring.

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

  • v. bound vigorously
  • n. a strongroom or compartment (often made of steel) for safekeeping of valuables
  • v. jump across or leap over (an obstacle)
  • n. an arched brick or stone ceiling or roof
  • n. the act of jumping over an obstacle
  • n. a burial chamber (usually underground)


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.
Obsolete French volter, from Old French, from Old Italian voltare, from Vulgar Latin *volvitāre, frequentative of Latin volvere, to turn, roll.

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.



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

  • 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

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

    February 14, 2008