verst (n.)
Russian unit of distance measure equal to about two-thirds of a mile, 1550s, from Russian versta, related to Old Church Slavonic vrusta "stadium," vruteti (Russian vertet) "to turn," from Balto-Slavic *wirsta- "a turn, bend," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."
versus (prep.)
mid-15c., in legal case names, denoting action of one party against another, from Latin versus "turned toward or against," past participle of vertere "to turn," from PIE *wert- "to turn, wind," from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."
vert (n.)
mid-15c., "the color green" (especially in heraldry), also "trees and brush bearing green leaves" (in forest law), from Anglo-French and Old French vert "foliage, greenery, green cloth," from Latin viridem, viridis "green" (see verdure).
vert (v.)
"to turn in some direction," 1570s, from Latin vertere "to turn" from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." As a noun meaning "one who has left the Church of England" from 1864, short for convert (v.).
vertebra (n.)
"bone of the spine," early 15c., from Latin vertebra "joint or articulation of the body, joint of the spine" (plural vertebræ), perhaps from vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend") + instrumental suffix -bra. The notion would be the spine as the "hinge" of the body.
vertebral (adj.)
1680s, from vertebra + -al (1).
vertebrate (n.)
"a vertebrate animal," 1826, from Latin vertebratus (Pliny), from vertebra "joint or articulation of the body, joint of the spine" (see vertebra). As an adjective also from 1826.
vertex (n.)
1560s, "the point opposite the base in geometry," from Latin vertex "highest point," literally "the turning point," originally "whirling column, whirlpool," from vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Meaning "highest point of anything" is first attested 1640s.
vertical (adj.)
1550s, "of or at the vertex, directly overhead," from Middle French vertical (1540s), from Late Latin verticalis "overhead," from Latin vertex (genitive verticis) "highest point" (see vertex). Meaning "straight up and down" is first recorded 1704. As a noun meaning "the vertical position or line" from 1834. Related: Vertically.
vertiginous (adj.)
c. 1600, "of the nature of vertigo," from French vertigineux, from Latin vertiginosus "suffering from dizziness," from vertigo (see vertigo). From 1620s as "dizzy;" 1640s as "liable to cause dizziness." Related: Vertiginously.
vertigo (n.)
early 15c., from Latin vertigo "dizziness, sensation of whirling," originally "a whirling or spinning movement," from vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend").
vervain (n.)
herbaceous plant much valued medicinally in Middle Ages, late 14c., from Old French verveine (13c.), from Latin verbena (see verbena).
verve (n.)
1690s, "special talent in writing, enthusiasm in what pertains to art and literature," from French verve "enthusiasm" (especially pertaining to the arts), in Old French "caprice, odd humor, proverb, saying; messenger's report" (12c.), probably from Gallo-Roman *verva, from Latin verba "(whimsical) words," plural of verbum "word" (see verb). Meaning "mental vigor" is first recorded 1803.
vervet (n.)
South African monkey, 1884, from French (Cuvier), of unknown origin, perhaps short for vert grivet, literally "a green grivet," indicating it was greener than the kind of monkey known as a grivet (itself a name of unknown origin). "Vervets are among the monkeys carried about by organ-grinders" [Century Dictionary].
very (adj.)
late 13c., verray "true, real, genuine," later "actual, sheer" (late 14c.), from Anglo-French verrai, Old French verai "true, truthful, sincere; right, just, legal," from Vulgar Latin *veracus, from Latin verax (genitive veracis) "truthful," from verus "true" (source also of Italian vero), from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy." Meaning "greatly, extremely" is first recorded mid-15c. Used as a pure intensive since Middle English.
vesicant (n.)
"a blistering agent," 1660s, from Medieval Latin vesicantem (nominative vesicans), present participle of vesicare, from vesica "a bladder, a blister" (see ventral). From 1826 as an adjective.
vesicle (n.)
"small, bladder-like structure," early 15c., from Middle French vesicule, from Latin vesicula "little blister," diminutive of vesica "bladder, blister" (see ventral).
vesicular (adj.)
1715, from Modern Latin vesicularis, from vesicula "little blister," diminutive of vesica "bladder" (see ventral).
Vespa (n.)
1950, proprietary name of an Italian make of motor scooter, first produced 1946, from Italian, literally "wasp," from Latin vespa (see wasp). Rival brand was Lambretta.
vesper (n.)
late 14c., "the evening star," from Old French vespre "evening, nightfall" (12c., Modern French vêpre), from Latin vesper (masc.), vespera (fem.) "evening star, evening, west," related to Greek hesperos, and ultimately from PIE root *wes-pero- "evening, night" (source also of Old Church Slavonic večeru, Polish wieczór, Russian vecherŭ, Lithuanian vakaras, Welsh ucher, Old Irish fescor "evening"), perhaps an enlarged form of root *we- "down" (source of Sanskrit avah "down, downward"), thus literally "direction in which the sun sets." Meaning "evening" is attested from c. 1600.

Vespers "sixth canonical hour" is attested from 1610s, from plural of Latin vespera "evening;" the native name was evensong (Old English æfen-sang).
vespertine (adj.)
c. 1500, "of the evening," from Latin vespertinus "of the evening," from vesper "evening" (see vesper).
vespiary (n.)
"wasp's nest," 1816, from Latin vespa "wasp" (see wasp) on model of apiary. A proper formation would be *vespary.
vessel (n.)
c. 1300, "container," from Old French vessel "container, receptacle, barrel; ship" (12c., Modern French vaisseau) from Late Latin vascellum "small vase or urn," also "a ship," alteration of Latin vasculum, diminutive of vas "vessel." Sense of "ship, boat" is found in English from early 14c. "The association between hollow utensils and boats appears in all languages" [Weekley]. Meaning "canal or duct of the body" (especially for carrying blood) is attested from late 14c.
vest (v.)
early 15c., "to put in possession of a person," from Old French vestir "to clothe; get dressed," from Medieval Latin vestire "to put into possession, to invest," from Latin vestire "to clothe, dress, adorn," related to vestis "garment, clothing," from PIE *wes-ti-, suffixed form of *wes- (2) "to clothe," extended form of root *eu- "to dress." Related: Vested; vesting.
vest (n.)
1610s, "loose outer garment" (worn by men in Eastern countries or in ancient times), from French veste "a vest, jacket" (17c.), from Italian vesta, veste "robe, gown," from Latin vestis "clothing," from vestire "to clothe" (from PIE *wes- (2) "to clothe," extended form of root *eu- "to dress"). The sleeveless garment worn by men beneath the coat was introduced by Charles II in a bid to rein in men's attire at court, which had grown extravagant and decadent in the French mode.
The King hath yesterday, in Council, declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes .... It will be a vest, I know not well how; but it is to teach the nobility thrift. [Pepys, "Diary," Oct. 8, 1666]
Louis XIV of France is said to have mocked the effort by putting his footmen in such vests.
Vesta
Roman goddess of hearth and home, late 14c., corresponding to, and perhaps cognate with, Greek Hestia, from hestia "hearth," from PIE root *wes- (3) "to dwell, stay" (source also of Sanskrit vasati "stays, dwells," Gothic wisan, Old English, Old High German wesan "to be"). As the name of a planetoid from 1807 (Olbers).
vestal (adj.)
"chaste, pure, virgin," 1590s, originally (early 15c.) "belonging to or dedicated to Vesta," Roman goddess of hearth and home, from Latin vestalis. The noun is recorded from 1570s, short for Vestal virgin, one of four (later six) priestesses (Latin virgines Vestales) in charge of the sacred fire in the temple of Vesta in Rome. From 1580s in reference to any virgin or chaste woman.
They entered the service of the goddess at from six to ten years of age, their term of service lasting thirty years. They were then permitted to retire and to marry, but few did so, for, as vestals, they were treated with great honor, and had important public privileges. Their persons were inviolable, any offense against them being punished with death, and they were treated in all their relations with the highest distinction and reverence. A vestal who broke her vow of chastity was immured alive in an underground vault amid public mourning. There were very few such instances; in one of them, under Domitian, the chief of the vestals was put to death under a false charge trumped up by the emperor. [Century Dictionary]
vested (adj.)
"established, secured, settled, not in a state of contingency," 1766, past participle adjective from vest (v.).
vestibular (adj.)
1819, in reference to the inner ear part, from vestibule + -ar.
vestibule (n.)
1620s, "a porch," later "antechamber, lobby" (1730), from French vestible, from Latin vestibulum "forecourt, entrance," of unknown origin. In reference to the ear part from 1728.
vestige (n.)
c. 1600, from French vestige "a mark, trace, sign" (16c.), from Latin vestigium "footprint, trace," a word of unknown origin.
vestigial (adj.)
1850, "like a mere trace of what has been," originally in biology, from vestige + -al (1).
vestment (n.)
c. 1300, from Old French vestment (12c., Modern French vêtement), from Latin vestimentum "clothing, clothes," from vestire "to clothe," from PIE *wes- (4) "to clothe" (see wear (v.)). Related: Vestments; vestmental.
vestry (n.)
mid-15c., probably from Anglo-French *vesterie, from Old French vestiaire "room for vestments, dressing room" (12c.), from Latin vestarium "wardrobe," noun use of neuter of vestiarius (adj.) "of clothes," from vestis "garment" (from PIE *wes- (2) "to clothe," extended form of root *eu- "to dress."). Often also a meeting room for the transaction of parish business, and retained in non-liturgical churches as the name of a separate room used for Sunday school, prayer meetings, etc., hence transferred secular use (as in vestryman, 1610s).
vesture (n.)
late 14c., "garments, clothes worn by a person at one time," from Anglo-French and Old French vesture, vesteure "dress, clothes, clothing," from Vulgar Latin *vestitura "vestments, clothing," from Latin vestivus, past participle of vestire "to clothe," from PIE *wes- (4) "to clothe" (see wear (v.)).
Vesuvius
volcano near Naples, of unknown origin; perhaps from Celtic root *ves- "mountain" or Oscan fesf "smoke, steam." Related: Vesuvian.
vet (n.1)
1862, shortened form of veterinarian.
vet (n.2)
1848, shortened form of veteran (n.).
vet (v.)
"to submit (an animal) to veterinary care," 1891, from veterinarian. The colloquial sense of "subject (something) to careful examination" (as of an animal by a veterinarian, especially of a horse before a race) is attested by 1901. Related: Vetted; vetting.
vetch (n.)
climbing herb, late 14c., from Old North French veche, variant of Old French vece, from Latin vicia "vetch," which perhaps is related to vincire "to bind" (compare second element of periwinkle (n.1)), or from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind." Dutch wikke, German Wicke are loan-words from Latin vicia.
veteran (n.)
c. 1500, "old experienced soldier," from French vétéran, from Latin veteranus "old, aged, that has been long in use," especially of soldiers; as a plural noun, "old soldiers," from vetus (genitive veteris) "old, aged, advanced in years; of a former time," as a plural noun, vetores, "men of old, forefathers," from PIE *wet-es-, from root *wet- (2) "year" (source also of Sanskrit vatsa- "year," Greek etos "year," Hittite witish "year," Old Church Slavonic vetuchu "old," Old Lithuanian vetušas "old, aged;" and compare wether). Latin vetus also is the ultimate source of Italian vecchio, French vieux, Spanish viejo. General sense of "one who has seen long service in any office or position" is attested from 1590s. The adjective first recorded 1610s.
veterinarian (n.)
animal doctor, 1640s, from Latin veterinarius "of or having to do with beasts of burden," also, as a noun, "cattle doctor," from veterinum "beast of burden," perhaps from vetus (genitive veteris) "old" (see veteran), possibly from the notion of "experienced," or of "one year old" (hence strong enough to draw burdens). Another theory connects it to Latin vehere "to draw," on notion of "used as a draft animal." Replaced native dog-leech (1520s).
veterinary (adj.)
1791, from Latin veterinarius "of or pertaining to beasts of burden," from veterinus (see veterinarian).
veto (n.)
1620s, from Latin veto, literally "I forbid," first person singular present indicative of vetare "forbid, prohibit, oppose, hinder," of unknown origin. In ancient Rome, the "technical term for protest interposed by a tribune of the people against any measure of the Senate or of the magistrates" [Lewis].
veto (v.)
1706, from veto (n.). Related: Vetoed; vetoing.
vetting (n.)
1918, verbal noun from vet (v.).
vex (v.)
early 15c., from Old French vexer "vex, harass" (14c.), from Latin vexare "to shake, jolt, toss violently;" figuratively "attack, harass, trouble, annoy," from vexus, collateral form of vectus, past participle of vehere "to draw, carry" (see vehicle). Related: Vexed; vexing.
vexation (n.)
c. 1400, from Old French vexacion "abuse, harassment; insult, affront," or directly from Latin vexationem (nominative vexatio) "annoyance, harassing; distress, trouble," noun of action from past participle stem of vexare "to harass, trouble" (see vex).
vexatious (adj.)
1530s; see vexation + -ous. Related: Vexatiously; vexatiousness.
vexed (adj.)
mid-15c., past participle adjective from vex. Phrase vexed question attested from 1825 (in Latin form vexata quaestio from 1813).