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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
  • The projectile had entered the chest, and slanting upwards, had burst among the vitals, reducing them to a gory pulp.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • This they do by sending an animal into the body of the child to gnaw its vitals.

  • The vice of intemperance, the mania for gambling, these are the vultures that are consuming the vitals of our people.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • And something was tearing, clawlike, at his throat and at his vitals.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • It throbbed faintly as it still struggled with the spear in its vitals.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
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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