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

  • n. The vested power or constitutional right of one branch or department of government to refuse approval of measures proposed by another department, especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature and thus prevent or delay its enactment into law.
  • n. Exercise of this right.
  • n. An official document or message from a chief executive stating the reasons for rejection of a bill.
  • n. An authoritative prohibition or rejection of a proposed or intended act.
  • transitive v. To prevent (a legislative bill) from becoming law by exercising the power of veto.
  • transitive v. To forbid or prohibit authoritatively.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A political right to disapprove of (and thereby stop) the process of a decision, a law etc.
  • n. An invocation of that right.
  • v. To use a veto against.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An authoritative prohibition or negative; a forbidding; an interdiction.
  • n. A power or right possessed by one department of government to forbid or prohibit the carrying out of projects attempted by another department; especially, in a constitutional government, a power vested in the chief executive to prevent the enactment of measures passed by the legislature. Such a power may be absolute, as in the case of the Tribunes of the People in ancient Rome, or limited, as in the case of the President of the United States. Called also the veto power.
  • n. The exercise of such authority; an act of prohibition or prevention.
  • n. A document or message communicating the reasons of the executive for not officially approving a proposed law; -- called also veto message.
  • transitive v. To prohibit; to negative; also, to refuse assent to, as a legislative bill, and thus prevent its enactment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To forbid authoritatively; specifically, to negative by exercising the constitutional right of veto: as, to veto a bill.
  • n. In a constitutional government, the right vested in one branch of it to negative the determinations of another branch; specifically, the right, under constitutional restrictions, of the executive, as a king, a president, or a governor, to reject a bill passed, by the legislature; also, the act of exercising this right.
  • n. Any right or power of authoritatively forbidding or effectively negativing, or the exercise of such right or power; prohibition; interdict.

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

  • n. the power or right to prohibit or reject a proposed or intended act (especially the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature)
  • n. a vote that blocks a decision
  • v. vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent
  • v. command against


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

From Latin vetō, first person sing. present tense of vetāre, to forbid.


  • This agitation from without rendered the debates upon the veto stormy; in this way a very simple question acquired great importance, and the ministry, perceiving how fatal the influence of an absolute decision might prove, and seeing, also, that the _unlimited veto_ and the _suspensive veto_ were one and the same thing, induced the king to be satisfied with the latter, and give up the former.

    History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814

  • "They avoid using the term veto power, but that is clearly all they are willing to accept."

    Battle For Hong Kong

  • Perhaps equally important, a veto is a far more powerful political gesture; a signing statement would seem particularly devious and unsatisfying, both to the public at large, and, perhaps more importantly, to the President's supporters in the pro-life movement, who would have demanded a clear rejection of the bill rather than allowing it to become law.


  • But if I'm reading it correctly, the Task Force Report appears to go much further, condemning the practice of constitutional nonenforcement in any circumstances, advising that a veto is appropriate even where a plainly unconstitutional provision appears in an otherwise important omnibus bill (see page 23).


  • And, of course, I've always got the ultimate way to make sure we bring fiscal sanity into Washington -- that's what we call a veto, Mr. President.

    CNN Transcript Sep 6, 2001

  • Sources close to Mr Clegg made clear he was not using the word "veto", arguing instead that the British position had been rejected by other EU nations.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • President Obama took to the podium of the UN general assembly yesterday, conspicuously avoiding use of the word "veto" in his speech, which would be an unpopular move given the liebrated mood of the Arab spring which his administration has so vocally supported. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Obama, defending his opposition to a Palestinian plan to seek statehood Friday to the skeptical members of the General Assembly, received a polite reception, but there was little enthusiasm as he explained - without using the word veto - why the United States would not back the proposal.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Without using the word "veto," he said the president would "insist" on a bill that met these criteria.

    NYT > Home Page

  • His use of the word "veto" and the way in which he imagines its use suggest that at least some Supreme Court constitutional decisions would actually be undone simply by acts of popular will.

    The Full Feed from


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