vestal virgin


Definition of vestal virgin

1 : a virgin consecrated to the Roman goddess Vesta and to the service of watching the sacred fire perpetually kept burning on her altar
2 : a chaste woman

Examples of vestal virgin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To mark the legendary founding of the city and its past glory, there is usually a crowded birthday parade of re-enactors dressed up as gladiators and vestal virgins. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 1 May 2020 The vestal virgins, who maintained the sacred fire of Vesta, the goddess of hearth and home, were the Beyhive of their day. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 9 Sep. 2019 The vestal virgins, whose images appear on coins and friezes in Mr. MacGregor’s pages, held the high responsibility of keeping the Roman national hearth alight. Andrew Stark, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of vestal virgin

circa 1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About vestal virgin

Time Traveler for vestal virgin

Time Traveler

The first known use of vestal virgin was circa 1583

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near vestal virgin


vestal virgin

Vestavia Hills

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for vestal virgin

Cite this Entry

“Vestal virgin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on vestal virgin Encyclopedia article about vestal virgin


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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