vestal virgin

noun

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, "Rome Has Been Sacked, Conquered and Abandoned. Now It’s the Pandemic’s Turn.," 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, "Superfans: A Love Story," 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, "‘Living With the Gods’ Review: The Gang’s All Here," 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.

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First Known Use of vestal virgin

circa 1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of vestal virgin was circa 1583

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Cite this Entry

“Vestal virgin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vestal%20virgin. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on vestal virgin

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vestal virgin

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