Main definitions of vault in English

: vault1vault2

vault1

noun

  • 1A roof in the form of an arch or a series of arches, typical of churches and other large, formal buildings.

    • ‘The vault of the naves was completed in 1378 and that over the aisles two years later.’
    • ‘I also climbed into the roof structures of the station and stood above the vaults to gain a high vantage point.’
    • ‘The vault in the upper basilica partially collapsed bringing two diagonally opposite quadrants in the east end and nave of the main vault crashing 22 metres to the floor, where they broke into thousands of pieces.’
    • ‘Inside the exhibit halls, the arched roof trusses are exposed to emphasize the great expansive vault of the structure.’
    • ‘The formerly dark space is now transformed by a series of flowing vaults terminating in a new, open family room.’
    • ‘I gazed down upon the old quarter, a collage of dun roofs, domes and vaults, pencil and square minarets.’
    • ‘The present place was a Victorian arched vault of steel, copper and glass - a massive hall.’
    • ‘The cathedral is known for its influence on High Gothic, its flying buttresses, ribbed vaults, and multiple towers; for glass and carvings that pray and teach down the centuries.’
    • ‘To stiffen the shallow vault, curved steel girders brace the two sides.’
    • ‘There is a noticeable acoustic difference between a church with a wooden roof and a similar building with a stone vault, as many choristers will testify.’
    • ‘When he arrived, though, he discovered that Tunisians already knew how to put buildings together, using stone and brick to make fabulous vaults.’
    • ‘In the pre-industrial age, the structural form that was used for the widest spans was the masonry vault or dome.’
    • ‘Reflected daylight enters through clerestories, bounces up into the shimmering vaults and is then diffused down onto the exhibits.’
    • ‘There are even pictures of soaring ribbed piers and vaults in Gothic cathedrals, reminding us that of course the origins of the Gothic style must have derived from bamboo and willow construction.’
    • ‘The architectural part of the complex was reborn as a post-Victorian mélange, in which Moorish arches soar above Gothic vaults.’
    • ‘The invention of arches and vaults, made of brick-faced concrete, allowed Roman architects much greater spans - and more visual variety.’
    • ‘Gothic architecture has a particular look: the pointed or ogival arch, ribbed vaults, rose windows, towers, and tremendous height in the nave, supported by flying buttresses.’
    • ‘The stair is elegantly made, a light filigree of steel rod and plates that contrasts with the heavy concrete solidity of the vault.’
    • ‘The system uses the timeless forms of arches, domes, and vaults to create single and double-curvature shell structures that are both strong and beautiful.’
    • ‘We learned how Romans built their bridges, how medieval masons built their vaults, how lime and mortar were used in English buildings, and so on.’
    arched roof, arched ceiling, dome, arch
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1literary A thing resembling an arched roof, especially the sky.
      ‘the vault of heaven’
      • ‘Outside, there were a few unimpressive clouds seeming lost in the vault of the sky.’
      • ‘And that cathedral is high - reaching right to the vault of the sky.’
      • ‘There was not a cloud in the entire vault of the sky!’
      • ‘The blue vault of the sky was of a hue that made it appear almost solid, the airy clouds across the horizon cloaking mountain peaks in mist.’
      • ‘He looked up at the vault of the sky, visible through a thick haze.’
    2. 1.2Anatomy The arched roof of a cavity, especially that of the skull.
      ‘the cranial vault’
      • ‘Scans of his brain showed no nerve compression but did confirm thickening of the skull vault.’
      • ‘The bones of the cranium are divided into the skull base and the calvarial vault.’
      • ‘Physicians rely on digital examination to diagnose and assess prolapse of the vaginal vault.’
      • ‘The skull appeared diffusely thickened on radiographs and CT scans throughout the entire cranial vault.’
      • ‘At surgery, there was a significant deformity of the cranial vault at the level of the occiput and first and second cervical vertebrae.’
  • 2A large room or chamber used for storage, especially an underground one.

    • ‘The above ground extra story housed the kitchen and a stone and brick storage vault.’
    • ‘In consequence, the basement (below the level of the road) with its handsome brick vaults and windows on to the garden, was blocked off.’
    • ‘Golding was said to have arranged for the document to be held in the British Library's vaults until 30 years after Blunt's death.’
    • ‘Spiralling stairs and a glass lift transport technicians to subterranean depths and storage vaults.’
    • ‘On that occasion the ballot boxes had been locked in a huge official steel and concrete vault.’
    • ‘Soon, the 4,000 films in the archive's collection will be moved from storage into special vaults, humidity-controlled and cooled to a constant 10°C to preserve the precious footage.’
    • ‘From obvious repair tunnels for the subway line, they went down, the tunnels becoming darker and danker, descending a spiral of metal stairs that led to low vaults of brickwork or wet stone.’
    • ‘Today a new building with a fireproof vault has been constructed on upper St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.’
    • ‘There is a theory that the wine cellar could have been a Bulgarian invention, because monks in the country were said to have been the first people to store wine in cool vaults deep underground.’
    • ‘The warehouse has been specifically designed for storage of records and media products, with a media vault geared to holding tapes, CDs and DVD's.’
    • ‘In recent years the British Museum the V&A and the Dulwich Picture Gallery have all reported losses from open displays or storage vaults.’
    • ‘In the middle of the building was a weapons storage vault.’
    • ‘The entire opera takes place in some kind of subterranean vault, or perhaps a subway station.’
    • ‘Construction work will get under way in the New Year, and will include the expansion of the museum's library and the storage archive vaults which will be opened to the public regularly.’
    • ‘The diary sent to the storage vaults of the museum, hidden from the outside world, all but forgotten.’
    • ‘Millions of pounds worth of paintings are left unseen in the art gallery vaults because there is not enough display space.’
    • ‘A thorough review of storage requirements can uncover desires for wine cellars or walk-in fireproof vaults.’
    • ‘The storage of wines and spirits in vaults under railway stations was a clever use of space by Victorian architects and engineers.’
    • ‘Inman had insisted that his wife deposit the diaries in a vault, for he was terrified of losing them should fire break out in the apartment.’
    cellar, basement, underground chamber, crypt, undercroft, catacomb, cavern
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A secure room in a bank in which valuables are stored.
      • ‘One of the most famous international heists involved the Sewer Rats, a team of seven underworld criminals led by Albert Spaggiari who targeted a bank vault in Nice, France.’
      • ‘Robbers stole £22m from Northern Bank's city centre vaults on December 20.’
      • ‘Ray's collection could be worth £1m at auction and is so valuable most of it is locked away in a bank vault.’
      • ‘The owner of the fossil kept it locked away in a bank vault so no one has ever been able to verify it - until now.’
      • ‘The bullion was never returned and officials believe it is now stored in the vaults of the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi.’
      • ‘Some ‘investments’, such as gem stones, are often said to be stored in Swiss bank vaults, so you can never see them.’
      • ‘There have been instances where famous paintings have been stolen, held in bank vaults for 20 years and then simply handed back.’
      • ‘Though the bank was looted, the vault miraculously remained secure.’
      • ‘The mayoral pieces are all kept in a vault in the bank because of their value, but the furniture and paintings are on display in the town hall.’
      • ‘Early on Tuesday morning, employees of the South Park branch of Biochim Bank found that thieves had broken into the vault of the bank and robbed more than 40 deposit boxes.’
      • ‘The silver and gold bullion is stored in underground treasury vaults at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.’
      • ‘The star of the 4-2 Wembley win over West Germany had kept the medal in a bank vault but the Hammers want the commemorative piece to form one of the main attractions in the club museum.’
      • ‘The 35-year-old interior decorator said the burglars had found a jewellery box in his bedroom which he had forgotten to put back in a bank vault.’
      • ‘Most of the newly printed money ended up offshore, in the vaults of central banks around the world that needed it for trade and energy.’
      • ‘Guerrillas blasted open the vaults of the British Bank of the Middle East in Bab Idriss and cleared out safe deposit boxes full of cash, gold, stock certificates and jewellery.’
      • ‘For almost 80 years it has remained hidden from the public's view, wrapped in newspaper in a bank vault at a secret location in Yorkshire.’
      • ‘Both men carried holdalls and forced the staff members into the vault of the bank, where they stole a large quantity of cash and other items.’
      • ‘Underground vaults were cleared in two-and-a-half hours, after the families of two kidnapped managers were held hostage.’
      • ‘The film was one of the best-loved screen hits of the 60s, as a gang swipes a stash of gold bullion from a bank vault in Turin.’
      • ‘Eventually, they broke into the main vault of the bank with the hope of finding lots of money, jewellery or perhaps gold.’
      strongroom, safe deposit, safety deposit, safe, repository, depository, treasury
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 A chamber beneath a church or in a graveyard used for burials.
      • ‘Beneath the richly covered buildings lie the sombre underground burial vaults.’
      • ‘That stone up there has guarded the entrance to the burial vault at West Kennet Long Barrow for 4000 years.’
      • ‘Some were dug directly in the earth, others brick-lined to make a family vault.’
      • ‘By the time his body was laid to rest in the family vault in Paddington Old Churchyard in August 1780, he appears to have been impoverished and did not leave a will.’
      • ‘Burial caskets were not interfered with in any way and have been moved, under Home Office guidelines, a few yards to the part of vault beyond the church building edge.’
      • ‘After his old friend Hobhouse had arranged for the coffin to lie in state for a few days in London, it was interred in the family vault at Hucknall Torkard, near Newstead.’
      • ‘Three to seven years after burial, the bones of the deceased are exhumed and placed in a family vault or a communal ossuary.’
      • ‘Underneath the chapel lie a series of sealed vaults, the contents of which are the subject of constant speculation.’
      • ‘According to author Iain Sinclair, she now lies in the family vault instead.’
      • ‘However, the royal vault, which is beneath the chapel, cannot be accessed by the public.’
      • ‘He remained unmarried and is buried in a family vault of St John's Church of England cemetery, Campbelltown.’
      • ‘The next day one of the brothers summoned everyone in Croglin Grange to the crypt and opened the vault.’
      • ‘Much of the church's social outreach takes place in 19 th-century burial vaults that were actually condemned as unfit for the dead in the 1850s.’
      • ‘Hutton was buried in the family vault at Charlton in Kent.’
      • ‘Some of the worst damage caused at the graveyard was to a vault belonging to Peter O'Connor.’
      • ‘He was buried in the family vault in the church at Bawdsey, Suffolk.’
      • ‘By parliamentary dispensation, he was buried in the family vault in Wimborne Minister.’
      • ‘In 1979, after rumours that manuscripts were buried in his family vault, his coffin was opened.’
      • ‘The family vaults are situated below St Mark's Church on Buncer Lane.’
      • ‘Archaeologists believe they have recovered the bones of Mozart's niece from the family vault and will perform DNA tests.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]usually as adjective vaulted
  • 1Provide (a building or room) with an arched roof or roofs.

    ‘a vaulted arcade’
    • ‘We go to a table smack-bang in the middle of the cavernous, vaulted, chandeliered room, and we wait.’
    • ‘St Lawrence's Church, near the river, has a fine twelfth century vaulted chancel.’
    • ‘Missive in hand he strode, excited, through vaulted chambers and stone halls to the private chambers of his court.’
    • ‘They are entered off long vaulted corridors running the length of the building on each floor.’
    • ‘The castle is worth a look with its 12 th-century keep, two-storey chapel, Renaissanc e apartments and vaulted kitchen.’
    • ‘The main public entrance on the east side is signposted by a huge canopy that draws visitors into a long, vaulted undercroft containing an exhibition space, cafe and shop.’
    • ‘These are vaulted concrete structures, measuring 14.4 x 7.2m, supported by in-situ concrete frames and stiffened by edge beams.’
    • ‘Long vaulted corridors run off in all directions, and spiral staircases twist around inside wide stone wells with stained glass windows.’
    • ‘The structure is composed of radiating supporting walls and vaulted galleries.’
    • ‘The facade of the Gate had three vaulted passages and each of the wings had a wide entrance.’
    • ‘It is made up of a maze of interconnecting vaulted passages, and contains no fewer than 5,480 shops, as well as its own banks, baths, mosques, cafés and a police station.’
    • ‘These small vaulted galleries are low-ceilinged but not claustrophobic because the twin hallways that flank the stair are nearly always in sight.’
    arched, curved, rounded, bowed, domed, humped
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make (a roof) in the form of a vault.
      ‘there was a high ceiling, vaulted with cut slate’
      • ‘Inside, the ceiling is vaulted to give the guest quarters volume without adding height.’
      • ‘He said the Great Hall was a major feature, with its high vaulted ceiling, stone floor and minstrels' gallery - and the views were breathtaking.’
      • ‘Fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, and plush, comfy couches furnish the buildings at both sites.’
      • ‘It is a hall with a high vaulted ceiling which has a number of sky lights.’
      • ‘Those vaulted ceilings sure look nice, but watch out for the heating bill!’
      • ‘The chamber was large, with high vaulted ceilings, and barely any light.’
      • ‘Through double doors, the bedroom leads to a ceramic-tiled conservatory with a high vaulted ceiling.’
      • ‘Upstairs is the huge master bedroom with a pitched-pine floor and vaulted ceilings.’
      • ‘Some of his designs had vaulted roofs and white-painted stucco - forms and materials that could be used to build quickly and inexpensively.’
      • ‘The bedrooms are all doubles with maple flooring, while two also have vaulted timber ceilings and built-in wardrobes.’
      • ‘Robin walked into the circular living room, was astounded by the breathtaking columns, marbled floors, crown moldings, and vaulted ceiling.’
      • ‘Huge walk-in fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, antique stained glass windows and ornate carvings were but a few of the features that gave this place so much character.’
      • ‘Next door is the dining room/sunroom, which is a relatively new addition and has a vaulted wooden ceiling.’
      • ‘Many older style vaulted ceilings were constructed by first installing exposed wood beams, then placing wood decking on top of the beams and the roofing material on top of the decking.’
      • ‘The adjoining breakfast area has a pine clad vaulted ceiling and two skylights.’
      • ‘The properties at the top of the main building will have original stonework and vaulted ceilings exposing original beams.’
      • ‘Unusual features in this room are the vaulted, Georgian beamed and stencilled ceiling and a rather ornate tiled fireplace.’
      • ‘A study with a high vaulted ceiling, a skylight and windows looking onto the atrium leads to two bedrooms at the back of the house.’
      • ‘The ceilings of Norman churches and cathedrals were vaulted.’
      • ‘Rustic hand-crafted wood dominates the interior, while vaulted ceilings and stone fireplaces lend a timeless appeal.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French voute, based on Latin volvere ‘to roll’.

Pronunciation

vault

/vɔlt//vôlt/

Main definitions of vault in English

: vault1vault2

vault2

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Leap or spring while supporting or propelling oneself with one or both hands or with the help of a pole.

    ‘he vaulted over the gate’
    • ‘I vaulted onto the horse's back and grabbed the reins.’
    • ‘The driver vaulted over the road divider and came and shook Anand's hand.’
    • ‘Les vaulted over the fence, throwing his backpack over ahead of him.’
    • ‘Cade vaulted over the rail to retrieve the ball.’
    • ‘Taking a deep breath, he vaulted down the metal stairs.’
    • ‘With the Senators seemingly moments away from a victory in their final game, hordes of fans began vaulting over the retaining walls and proceeded to swarm the playing field.’
    • ‘Outside, he vaulted easily onto his horse and dug his heels in.’
    • ‘Ticket barriers at stations slow down passenger flow, but the determined non-payer can still vault over them, or sneak through behind a legitimate ticketholder.’
    • ‘Croft raced to his horse, vaulted into the saddle, and was alongside her in an instant.’
    • ‘I leapt from the building and vaulted over the wall that had previously blocked my way, barely skimming my knee on the top as I went.’
    jump, jump over, leap, leap over, skip, skip over, leapfrog, leapfrog over, spring over, bound over, sail over, hurdle, clear, pole-vault
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Jump over (an obstacle) while propelling oneself with one's hands or a pole.
      ‘Ryker vaulted the barrier’
      • ‘One man vaulted the security screen and threatened female members of staff while his accomplices made around six customers lie on the floor.’
      • ‘The man seen vaulting the ticket barrier was probably a policeman.’
      • ‘He had tried to rob the off-licence on Swinley Lane, Wigan, waving the sword at the woman assistant before vaulting the counter, only to find he couldn't open the till.’
      • ‘A man vaulted a court dock and fled into a town centre after hearing he would be spending Christmas behind bars.’
      • ‘The acquittal came five years after a three-man gang burst into Barclays bank in Westhoughton wielding shotguns and vaulted a security screen.’
      • ‘But the man fled, vaulting a ticket barrier and sprinting for the platform.’
      • ‘The eight remaining challengers vaulted the wall, sprinting across an open field of grazed grass, spreading out as they got further from the road.’
      • ‘He vaulted the fence that separated him from his backyard and landed catlike on the ground.’
      • ‘Neither car would make it to the end of a race marred by the death of several spectators when Rolf Stommell's car vaulted a security fence after a rear wing failure.’
      • ‘He vaulted barriers and headed down towards the platforms.’
      • ‘The fiery Frenchman hit the headlines when he was filmed vaulting a barrier and delivering a kung fu-style kick to a Crystal Palace supporter who was taking delight in his sending-off for a foul.’
      • ‘Yesterday he found himself grappling with a 20-year-old robber who vaulted the dock.’
      • ‘Police believe Lill, 33, who has not been seen since he vaulted the dock at York Crown Court and escaped earlier this year, may have fled overseas.’
      • ‘I picked up speed, making for the trees, vaulting a fence, catching my foot and falling flat on my face with a jolt that knocked the wind out of me.’
      • ‘Officers followed Weldrick's Alfa Romeo car to the middle of the Humber Bridge where it stopped and the driver was seen vaulting the safety railings before jumping off the bridge.’
      • ‘The 19-year-old vaulted the counter at Coral's in Marlowe Avenue on February 12 and hit a female member of staff before snatching handfuls of cash from the till.’
      • ‘His progress was briefly thwarted by the locked gate, but he managed to vault the boundary wall without breaking a sweat and disappeared down the road at superhuman speed.’
      • ‘Parking my motorcycle and tossing my helmet carelessly on the back seat, I easily vaulted the fence, as I had done so many times before.’
      jump, jump over, leap, leap over, skip, skip over, leapfrog, leapfrog over, spring over, bound over, sail over, hurdle, clear, pole-vault
      View synonyms

noun

  • An act of vaulting.

    • ‘Attempting a vault, her right foot missed the springboard and she crashed head first at full speed into the horse.’
    • ‘I had to wait for nearly two hours in that heat to take my first vault and that drained some of my energy.’
    • ‘Hatch didn't get her usual height or distance on her vault, and she also took a step after her landing.’
    • ‘The French gymnasts attempted several difficult vaults.’
    • ‘A broad smile broke out on Deferr's face the moment his closest rival, Romania's Marian Dragulescu stumbled on landing after his second vault to finish third.’
    jump, leap, spring, bound, skip, hurdle, clearance, leapfrog, pole vault
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century: from Old French volter ‘to turn (a horse), gambol’, based on Latin volvere ‘to roll’.

Pronunciation

vault

/vɔlt//vôlt/