To snuff; to breathe or puff out; to snort.

Origin: Cf. F. Venter to blow, vent wind (see Ventilate); but prob influenced by E. Vent an opening.

1. A small aperture; a hole or passage for air or any fluid to escape; as, the vent of a cask; the vent of a mold; a volcanic vent. "Look, how thy wounds do bleed at many vents." (Shak) "Long't was doubtful, both so closely pent, Which first should issue from the narrow vent." (Pope)

2. <zoology> Specifically: The anal opening of certain invertebrates and fishes; also, the external cloacal opening of reptiles, birds, amphibians, and many fishes.

The opening at the breech of a firearm, through which fire is communicated to the powder of the charge; touchhole. Sectional area of the passage for gases divided by the length of the same passage in feet.

3. Opportunity of escape or passage from confinement or privacy; outlet.

4. Emission; escape; passage to notice or expression; publication; utterance. "Without the vent of words." (Milton) "Thou didst make tolerable vent of thy travel." (Shak) To give vent to, to suffer to escape; to let out; to pour forth; as, to give vent to anger. To take vent, to escape; to be made public.

<zoology> Vent feather A bush. See 4th Bush. A breech block.

Origin: OE. Fent, fente, a slit, F. Fente a slit, cleft, fissure, from fendre to split, L. Findere; but probably confused with F. Vent wind, L. Ventus. See Fissure, and cf. Vent to snuff.

(01 Mar 1998)