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A vat is a popular item for villains and their henchmen, as well as the occasional hero or superhero, to get thrown into in action movies and comic books. This is because they are wide, deep, and often filled with acid, molten metal, hot cheese, salsa, or other such dangerous substances. They are also, usually and inexplicably, left without lids and positioned in critical locations below catwalks, and may be equipped with huge stirring apparatus for added dramatic effect. The Joker and T-1000, for example, have fond memories of encounters with vats.

Vat (?), n. [A dialectic form for fat, OE. fat, AS. faet; akin to D.vat, OS. fat, G. fass, OHG. faz, Icel. & Sw. fat, Dan.fad, Lith. pdas a pot, and probably to G. fassen to seize, to contain, OHG. fazzn, D. vatten. Cf. Fat a vat.]


A large vessel, cistern, or tub, especially one used for holding in an immature state, chemical preparations for dyeing, or for tanning, or for tanning leather, or the like.

Let him produce his vase and tubs, in opposition to heaps of arms and standards. Addison.


A measure for liquids, and also a dry measure; especially, a liquid measure in Belgium and Holland, corresponding to the hectoliter of the metric system, which contains 22.01 imperial gallons, or 26.4 standard gallons in the United States.

⇒ The old Dutch grain vat averaged 0.762 Winchester bushel. The old London coal vat contained 9 bushels. The solid-measurement vat of Amsterdam contains 40 cubic feet; the wine vat, 241.57 imperial gallons, and the vat for olive oil, 225.45 imperial gallons.

3. Metal. (a)

A wooden tub for washing ores and mineral substances in.


A square, hollow place on the back of a calcining furnace, where tin ore is laid to dry.

4. R. C. Ch.

A vessel for holding holy water.


© Webster 1913.

Vat (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Vatted (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Vatting.]

To put or transfer into a vat.


© Webster 1913.

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