- 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 vitals
She had been there as my mother and I sat with him around the clock, sleeping by his bedside, anxiously checking his vitals.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
Lydia also gets her vitals checked, arm rubbed with alcohol, and glove-covered hands safely inserting the needle.The I.V. Doc Comes to Your House, Fights Hangovers, and Wins
July 20, 2014
After all, how hard is it really for a disgruntled patient to log into Vitals or Healthgrades and give you a one-star review?Is the Doctor-Patient Relationship Turning Into a Business Partnership?
April 11, 2014
At 7:30 p.m., the report says, paramedics called “no vitals.”Prosecutors Release New Evidence in George Zimmerman Shooting Case
May 18, 2012
The nurse came daily to check his vitals, answer questions, and provide guidance and reassurance to Jeff and me.Feeding Tubes, NICU, One-on-One Care: Susan Hatfield Talks About Living With Her Trisomy 18 Baby
February 1, 2012
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.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
Some fearful secret must be gnawing at the big man's vitals.Wanderer of Infinity
The caterpillar, you mean, boy—eating out its heart and its vitals.The Christian
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.
- The vital body organs.
- The parts that are essential to continued functioning, as of a system.