vet-, vett-

(to make a careful and critical examination of something or to investigate someone thoroughly)

vet (verb); vets; vetted; vetting
1. To make a prior examination and critical analysis, or detailed evaluation, of a document, a line of action regarding someone or people, etc.: If something is vetted, it is checked carefully to make sure that it meets the requirements that government officials have established.

When a person is vetted, he or she is investigated fully before being given a particular job, a role, or a position; especially, one that involves military or political secrets.

When US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) vets immigration applicants, they may not have a clear picture of their backgrounds because their governments may not allow such data to be transferred to another nation.

2. Etymology: from Latin veterinarius, "a doctor who medically treats animals"; to vet was originally a horse-racing term, referring to the requirement that a horse be examined for health and soundness by a veterinarian before being allowed to race; now, it has the general meaning of, "to check, to inspect, to scrutinize".

According to drafts of the executive action obtained by CNN, the order bars all persons from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen from entering the United States for 30 days and suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until it is reinstated "only for nationals of countries for whom" members of Trump's Cabinet deem can be properly vetted.

— Quoted from information provided by, January 27, 2017.

The following cartoon shows the meaning of "scrutinize" which is a synonym for "to vet".

To closely examine.
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vetted (adjective), more vetted, most vetted
Referring to an investigation that has been completed: Only vetted nominees are allowed into government committee hearings.
vetter (s) (noun), vetters (pl)
Someone that makes use of procedures for carrying out security checks and investigations: William was a professional vetter for his company who made sure that those applying for positions were fully qualified.
vetting (s) (noun), vettings (pl)
A background check on an individual or groups of people: A successful vetting depends on access to information that is reliable, true, and substantiated.

On the afternoon of January 27, 2017, after the U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would block the entry of refugees for 120 days, he said that the order, which also suspends immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, is part of his plan to impose "extreme vetting".

Vetting involves a set of processes for assessing the integrity of individuals in order to determine their suitability for public employment.

The process of vetting also requires the conducting of background checks that can involve a variety of inspections or examinations.

Trump called the procedures of vetting certain individuals trying to come into the U.S. would be put in place in a “totally extreme” process; during an interview with Fox News on Thursday. “We're going to have extreme vetting for people coming into our country and if we think there's a problem, it's not going to be so easy for people to come in anymore,” he said.

— Quoted from information provided by
The Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2017.

Successful vetting depends on access to information that is reliable and can be verified and proven to be accurate.

This cartoon below illustrates the meaning of verified which is used in the preceding paragraph.

Prove to be true, accurate.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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vetting (adjective), more vetting, most vetting
A descriptive term for examining or analyzing someone's status: The government has a vetting policy to determine if foreigners are qualified to enter the U.S.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that establishes "new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America," the President said.

Jim's club only accepts members after a vetting process has been completed; including a background investigation and a criminal history check.