- vestal virgin.
- a chaste unmarried woman; virgin.
- a nun.
Origin of vestal
Examples from the Web for vestal
In such cases these women were made Vestal Virgins in the temples.Palmistry for All
The boat returned to the “Vestal,” and all those who had been rescued were put on board.
To bear sway for the stranger would be a work of danger to the “Vestal.”
Twice the boat returned without an accident to the “Vestal.”
In such carpenta may the vestal virgins have ascended the Capitol.New Italian sketches
John Addington Symonds
- chaste or pure; virginal
- of or relating to the Roman goddess Vesta
- a chaste woman; virgin
- a rare word for nun 1 (def. 1)
Word Origin and History for vestal
"chaste, pure, virgin," 1590s, originally (early 15c.) "belonging to or dedicated to Vesta," Roman goddess of hearth and home. 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. The goddess name, attested in English from late 14c., corresponds to, and may be cognate with, Greek Hestia, from hestia "hearth," from PIE root *wes- "to dwell, stay" (cf. Sanskrit vasati "stays, dwells," Gothic wisan, Old English, Old High German wesan "to be").