vital

[ vahyt-l ]
/ ˈvaɪt l /

adjective


Nearby words

  1. visuospatial,
  2. visé,
  3. vita,
  4. vitaceous,
  5. vitae,
  6. vital capacity,
  7. vital force,
  8. vital function,
  9. vital index,
  10. vital pulp

Origin of vital

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin vītālis, equivalent to vīt(a) life (derivative of vīvere to live; akin to Greek bíesthai, Sanskrit jīvati (he) lives, English quick) + -ālis -al1

Related forms

vitals

[ 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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vital


British Dictionary definitions for vital

vital

/ (ˈvaɪtəl) /

adjective

noun

(plural)
  1. the bodily organs, such as the brain, liver, heart, lungs, etc, that are necessary to maintain life
  2. the organs of reproduction, esp the male genitals
(plural) the essential elements of anything
Derived Formsvitally, adverb

Word Origin for vital

C14: via Old French from Latin vītālis belonging to life, from vīta life

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

Word Origin and History for vital
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for vital

vital

[ vītl ]

adj.

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.

vitals

[ vītlz ]

pl.n.

The vital body organs.
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.