- of or relating to life: vital processes.
- having remarkable energy, liveliness, or force of personality: a vital leader.
- being the seat or source of life: the vital organs.
- necessary to life: vital fluids.
- necessary to the existence, continuance, or well-being of something; indispensable; essential: vital for a healthy society.
- affecting the existence, well-being, truth, etc., of something: a vital error.
- of critical importance: vital decisions.
- destructive to life; deadly: a vital wound.
Origin of vital
SynonymsSee more synonyms for vital on Thesaurus.com
- 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
Examples from the Web for vital
His ups and downs professionally outside of the World Cup are a vital a part of his story in the book.Tim Howard’s Wall of Intensity
December 22, 2014
Vital Voices in 2013 took over funds from the Women In The World foundation which originated at The Daily Beast.Joe Biden: ‘I’ll Kill Your Son’
December 12, 2014
“The influence of the oak maturation casks on the final character of The Macallan is vital,” says MacPherson.How Much Do Whisky Casks Really Affect Taste?
December 10, 2014
This argument is vital to a larger argument: Do we obey the rules set up to constrain government or not?Obama’s ISIS War Is Illegal
Sen. Rand Paul
November 10, 2014
In terms of transparency, the U.K. has taken a vital step forward by openly quantifying the extent of the situation.The West’s Female-Genital Mutilation Wake-Up Call
October 20, 2014
After all it might be nothing of vital importance, merely a girls' disagreement.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one.
Your National Government has a great and vital role to play.
To the Roman, the scenic and histrionic were the vital features of a production.The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
It is not easy for an Anglo-Saxon to confess the realities of affection in vital intimacies.Within the Law
- essential to maintain lifethe lungs perform a vital function
- forceful, energetic, or livelya vital person
- of, relating to, having, or displaying lifea vital organism
- indispensable or essentialbooks vital to this study
- of great importance; decisivea vital game
- archaic influencing the course of life, esp negativelya vital treachery
- the bodily organs, such as the brain, liver, heart, lungs, etc, that are necessary to maintain life
- the organs of reproduction, esp the male genitals
- (plural) the essential elements of anything
Word Origin and History for vital
late 14c., "of or manifesting life," from Latin vitalis "of or belonging to life," from vita "life," related to vivere "to live," from PIE root *gwei- (cf. Old Persian *jivaka- "alive;" Greek bios "life," zoon "animal;" Lithuanian gyvata "(eternal) life;" Old English cwic, cwicu "living, alive;" Old Irish bethu "life;" cf. also bio-). The sense of "necessary or important" is from 1610s, via the notion of "essential to life" (late 15c.). Vital capacity recorded from 1852.
"organs of the body essential to life," c.1600, from the adj. vital taken as a noun.
- Of, relating to, or characteristic of life.
- Necessary to the continuation of life.
- Used or done on a living cell or tissue, as in staining.
- Destructive to life; fatal, as of an injury.
- The vital body organs.
- The parts that are essential to continued functioning, as of a system.