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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vitals

Contemporary Examples of vitals

Historical Examples of vitals

  • 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.

  • 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

vitals in Medicine




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.