Veto Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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With the United States midterm elections lurking right around the corner, you’ve likely seen a lot of bills that have been vetoed in recent months. That said, do you know what the word veto means? 

This post explores the term veto to uncover its definition, origin, synonyms, antonyms, and more. So if you’re wondering what it means when your local congressman vetoes a bill — keep reading. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the word veto (/ˈviːtəʊ/ /ˈviː.təʊ/ /ˈvi toʊ/ ). 

What Is the Definition of Veto? tells us that veto (pronounced vee-toh) can be used as a verb or a noun. Both essentially mean “no.”

To explain this in a bit more detail, we have listed below a few of the various meanings for the word veto:

  • Noun — Also referred to as a veto message; a document exercising such a right and including the reason(s) for setting forth such an action
  • Noun — The right or power that has been vested in one branch of a government to postpone or cancel enactments, decisions, etc., of a different branch of government; especially the right of a governor, the President, or another chief executive — to reject bills passed by the legislature 
  • Verb — To reject an enactment or a proposed bill by exercising a veto
  • Verb — To emphatically prohibit 

Fun Fact: The five permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations all have veto power. 

That said, the President of the United States has access to three types of vetoes: the line-item, the regular, and the pocket veto. Only a two-thirds vote of both the senate and the house can overturn a presidential veto.

What Is the Word Origin of Veto?

First coined in the 1620s, veto is derived from the Latin veto, which literally means, “I forbid.” 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Veto?

Now that you understand the meaning behind our word of the day, let’s review a few synonyms and antonyms, shall we?

What are synonyms and antonyms, you ask? In short, synonyms are words that have the same — or almost the same — meaning as another word. Antonyms, on the other hand, are words that have the opposite meaning of another word. 


  • Nix 
  • Declination 
  • Disallow 
  • Ban 
  • Prohibition
  • Embargo
  • Dismissal
  • Interdict
  • Rejection
  • Knock back 
  • Thumbs down
  • Suppression
  • Denial
  • Stoppage 
  • Ruling out
  • Making illegal
  • Out of bounds
  • Tabooing 
  • Disallowing
  • Forbiddance
  • Quashing
  • Prevention 
  • Casting aside
  • Dissolving
  • Canceling
  • Calling off
  • Relinquishment 
  • Abstention 
  • Refutation 


  • Greenlight
  • Thumbs up
  • Confirmation
  • Agreement
  • Approval
  • Go ahead
  • Ratification
  • Imprimatur
  • Mandate
  • Support
  • Nihil obstat
  • Positive
  • Progress
  • Improvement
  • Breakthrough
  • Amelioration
  • Step forward
  • Step in the right direction
  • Good thing
  • Work in progress
  • Conformity
  • Acceptance
  • Approval
  • Compliance
  • Approbate
  • Consent
  • Support 
  • Sanction 
  • Listen to
  • Regard
  • Uphold
  • Welcome

How Can You Use Veto in a Sentence?

By now, you likely have a good grasp on the meaning of the word veto — but do you know how to use it in a sentence? Not to worry; here are a few sentence examples for you to study below:

The governor vetoed the bill, leaving many people in a frenzy about the decision.

Did you know that the president has the veto over new legislation?

After what seemed like forever, the veto was finally announced.

Unfortunately, the bank vetoed my student loan application last week.

Tommy’s parents vetoed his summer plans.

After Congress passed the law, the president went ahead and vetoed it.

Look; I’m not saying that your idea is a bad one, but I am vetoing it.

Mark’s boss vetoed his hopes and dreams to expand the Research and Development department.

Do you think the new bill that was presented last week will get passed or vetoed?

What Are Translations of Veto?

Did you know that there are multiple ways to say our word of the day? Yup, it’s true — here are some common translations of the word veto for you to review below.

Translation of veto as a noun:

  • American English — veto  
  • Arabic — حَقُّ النَّقْص 
  • Brazilian Portuguese — veto 
  • Chinese (simplified) — 否决 
  • Croatian — veto 
  • Czech — veto 
  • Japanese — 拒否権 
  • Korean — 거부권 
  • Norwegian — veto 
  • Polish — weto 
  • European Portuguese — veto 
  • Romanian — veto
  • Russian — вето 
  • British English — veto
  • Spanish — veto 
  • Swedish — veto 
  • Thai — อำนาจในการยับยั้ง 
  • Turkish — veto 
  • Ukrainian — вето
  • Vietnamese — quyền phủ quyết
  • Danish — veto 
  • Dutch — veto 
  • European Spanish — veto 
  • Finnish — veto-oikeus 
  • French — veto 
  • German — Veto 
  • Greek — βέτο 
  • Italian — veto

Translation of veto as a verb:

  • American English — veto 
  • Brazilian Portuguese — vetar 
  • Chinese (simplified) — 否决
  • Italian — opporre il veto a 
  • British English — veto
  • Japanese — 拒否権を発動する
  • Korean — 거부권을 행사하다
  • European Portuguese — vetar 
  • Spanish — vetar 
  • Thai — ใช้สิทธิ์ยับยั้ง
  • European Spanish — prohibir 
  • French — opposer son veto à 
  • German — ein Veto einlegen gegen


To recap, veto (/ˈvitoʊ/ /vitoʊ/ /vi toʊ/ /v i toʊ/) can be used as a noun or a verb, meaning no. In short, a veto is a vote of “no” that, in turn, blocks a decision. 

We hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to truly understand the meaning behind veto. Whether you’re hoping to make sense of a confusing term or simply find the origin of a new slang word, you can always count on The Word Counter to have your back.  


Veto definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 

veto – Cambridge English Thesaurus with synonyms and examples 

Veto Definition & Meaning |