Meaning of VEHICLE in English

ˈvēˌikəl also ˈvēˌhik- or ˈvēə̇k- sometimes vēˈhik- or viˈh- noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: French véhicule transmitting agent, vehicle, from Latin vehiculum carriage, conveyance, from vehere to carry — more at way


a. : an inert substance (as syrup, lard, or liquid petrolatum) in a medicinal compound through which an active agent is administered or by which other ingredients are held together : diluent , excipient

b. : a liquid ingredient of other mixtures: as

(1) : a fluid in which something is dissolved or held in suspension

filled his glass of tomato juice half full of salt so that … the juice became scarcely more than a vehicle for the salt — C.P.Richter

lapping abrasive has been used successfully with vehicles of all kinds: water, soluble oils, cottonseed oil — E. Leslie Anderson

(2) : the binder and volatile thinners of a finishing material (as paint or lacquer)

(3) : the varnish in printing ink

(4) : a fluid or other substance in which light-sensitive salts for coating photographic plates are contained

c. : medium 9b


a. : an agent of transmission : carrier

water, food, insects, and inanimate objects may be vehicles of infection — V.M.Ehlers & E.W.Steel

the conception of blood as the vehicle of life — J.G.Frazer

man … as a vehicle of culture — A.L.Kroeber

b. : the literal content of a metaphorical statement — compare tenor 1c


a. : a mode of expression : form , style

words, pictures, and other vehicles of expression — H.O.Taylor

find a new form of verse which shall be as satisfactory a vehicle for us as blank verse was for the Elizabethans — T.S.Eliot

b. : medium 3c

the organ had been for centuries the vehicle of sacred music — A.E.Wier

public schools remain the primary vehicle for the education of our youth — J.B.Conant

using a program of slum clearance as a vehicle … to secure the adoption of other and extraneous legislation — New Republic

the United Nations as the principal vehicle by which world peace may … be reached — Patrick McMahon

specifically : an artistic composition serving to convey a particular conception

these pictures are the vehicles of his spirit — Herbert Read

c. : a Buddhist path to salvation — compare hinayana , mahayana

d. : an outlet for artistic talent

the American minstrel show … as a vehicle for amateurs — C.F.Wittke

specifically : a work created especially to display the powers of a particular performer

a play intended as a starring vehicle for an actress

a piano concerto composed as a vehicle for a famous virtuoso

4. : a material embodiment or repository

capable of exercising choice in the matter of reincarnation vehicles — H.B.Piper

5. : a means of carrying or transporting something : conveyance: as

a. : a carrier of goods or passengers

the most used vehicle was the mule — James Bird

the locomotive is well under way by the time the last vehicles are started from rest — O.S.Nock

aerial vehicles such as airplanes, and submerged vehicles such as … submarines — Fritz Zwicky

for summer hunting … the kayak is their indispensable vehicle — C.D.Forde

specifically : motor vehicle

exhaust from road vehicles

the turning radii of the transit vehicle determines the length of the bus stop — B.H.Sexton

b. : a container in which something is conveyed

the research vehicles — the satellites and the lunar probes — H.H.Martin

have the space vehicle trakced from the earth — L.S.Brown

c. : a piece of mechanized equipment

tractors and farm vehicles — Statesman's Year Book

tanks, half-tracks and other combat vehicles — Time

d. : a propulsive device

launching vehicle lifts the satellite into orbit — Space Talk

Synonyms: see mean

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.