vestal

1 of 2

adjective

ves·​tal ˈve-stᵊl How to pronounce vestal (audio)
1
: of or relating to the Roman goddess Vesta
2
a
: of or relating to a vestal virgin
b
: chaste

vestal

2 of 2

noun

Example Sentences

Adjective a schoolteacher who dresses with almost vestal modesty while on the job
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
There were papal cloaks styled as trench coats, and vestal robes turned into coveralls, but with a solemn finish that showed respect for both the clothes and the creative congregation that wants to wear them. Harper's BAZAAR, 15 Sep. 2022 Souza sets out to reacquaint us with that vanished world, where norms obtained and men were men and words had meaning—where the sun rose on the shrines of our ancestors and six virgins ceaselessly guarded the vestal flame. Katy Waldman, Slate Magazine, 3 Aug. 2017
Noun
With ritual precision, the vestals awaken their miserable charges each dawn and roll them about on their beds of pain while performing ablutions, in the formal movements of which the maidens are highly trained. Gabriel Winant, The New Republic, 23 May 2018 Vestals Gap Dr., 42905-Bernhard W. and Brunhild Vater to Patrick J. and Shana Benton Maines, $674,900. Washington Post, 26 July 2017 Vestal said erosion and canals that cut through the property made access to the site difficult, and winds helped spread flames through the dry grass. Cathy Locke, sacbee.com, 3 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vestal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vestal was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near vestal

Cite this Entry

“Vestal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vestal. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ