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[vahyt-lz] /ˈvaɪt lz/
plural noun
those bodily organs that are essential to life, as the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and stomach.
the essential parts of something:
the vitals of a democracy.
Origin of vitals
1600-10; translation of Latin vītālia; see vital Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for vitals
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I don't mean superficially, but deep down in your vitals, what would you say?

    Echoes of the War J. M. Barrie
  • The monsters who had hovered about his neck were battening on his vitals now.

  • Some fearful secret must be gnawing at the big man's vitals.

    Wanderer of Infinity Harl Vincent
  • The caterpillar, you mean, boy—eating out its heart and its vitals.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • As soon as he had gone, Ellis dived again into the vitals of the auto.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
Word Origin and History for vitals

"organs of the body essential to life," c.1600, from the adj. vital taken as a noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vitals in Medicine

vitals vi·tals (vīt'lz)

  1. The vital body organs.

  2. The parts that are essential to continued functioning, as of a system.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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