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See more synonyms for vitals on Thesaurus.com
plural noun
  1. those bodily organs that are essential to life, as the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and stomach.
  2. the essential parts of something: the vitals of a democracy.
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Origin of vitals

1600–10; translation of Latin vītālia; see vital
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for vitals

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vitals in Medicine


  1. The vital body organs.
  2. The parts that are essential to continued functioning, as of a system.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.