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2017 Word of the Year

vestal virgin

noun
1.
(in ancient Rome) one of four, later six, virgins consecrated to Vesta and to the tending of the sacred fire on her altar.
Origin of vestal virgin
late Middle English
1400-1450
late Middle English word dating back to 1400-50
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for vestal virgin
Historical Examples
  • For ten years they were taught the duties of a vestal virgin.

  • She should have been a vestal virgin, and moved about surrounded by sanctities.

    Darkness and Dawn Frederic W. Farrar
  • Why can a vestal virgin become an heir, while her mother cannot?

    Cicero's Tusculan Disputations Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • This was carried into the temple by the vestal virgin and the sacred fire was rekindled.

    Artificial Light M. Luckiesh
  • The punishment of a vestal virgin for incontinence was death.

  • Her full, gentle figure had the charm of the vestal virgin and the wife.

    Atlantis Gerhart Hauptmann
  • The legal rights of a vestal virgin were set forth in detail.

    Myths of Babylonia and Assyria Donald A. Mackenzie
  • "She may be the vestal virgin, but the queen is by my side," said Bero earnestly.

    Mae Madden Mary Murdoch Mason
  • Who will make me an offer for this vestal virgin of song—the joy of the morning and the benediction of the evening?

  • So he hired assassins to kill the boy, and the girl, Sylvia, he doomed to be a vestal virgin.

British Dictionary definitions for vestal virgin

vestal virgin

noun
1.
(in ancient Rome) one of the four, later six, virgin priestesses whose lives were dedicated to Vesta and to maintaining the sacred fire in her temple
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Nearby words for vestal virgin

Word Value for vestal

9
11
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