vig·​or·​ous ˈvi-g(ə-)rəs How to pronounce vigorous (audio)
: done with vigor : carried out forcefully and energetically
vigorous exercises
: possessing vigor : full of physical or mental strength or active force : strong
a vigorous youth
a vigorous plant
vigorousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for vigorous

vigorous, energetic, strenuous, lusty, nervous mean having or showing great vitality and force.

vigorous further implies showing no signs of depletion or diminishing of freshness or robustness.

as vigorous as a youth half his age

energetic suggests a capacity for intense activity.

an energetic campaigner

strenuous suggests a preference for coping with the arduous or the challenging.

the strenuous life on an oil rig

lusty implies exuberant energy and capacity for enjoyment.

a lusty appetite for life

nervous suggests especially the forcibleness and sustained effectiveness resulting from mental vigor.

full of nervous energy

Examples of vigorous in a Sentence

She remained vigorous into her nineties. His speech was met with vigorous applause. She gave a vigorous defense of her beliefs.
Recent Examples on the Web Some people have issues with their endocrine system and metabolism that cannot just be fixed by lifestyle changes, and others may not be able to perform vigorous physical exercise. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 23 Sep. 2023 The win in suburban Uxbridge was put down to vigorous local campaigning against London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, a daily levy on people driving older, polluting cars, which has recently expanded to cover the whole city. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2023 Be open to new people but don’t turn it into a vigorous pursuit at the expense of all else. Shon Faye, Vogue, 20 Sep. 2023 Made from 100 percent cotton, the towels are soft to the touch, gentle on the skin, and naturally absorbent (no vigorous rubbing nor dabbing required, according to customers!). Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2023 The data showed that people who did moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning had lower body mass indexes than people who exercised at midday or in the evening, though Ma said this could be due to a number of factors beyond exercise timing. Kaitlin Sullivan, NBC News, 19 Sep. 2023 This way there are always a few stems with pretty shredded bark in winter, and a few vigorous stems with particularly large leaves, and plenty of flowers with the following pretty seed heads. oregonlive, 16 Sep. 2023 There is a vigorous New Moon in your 3rd House of Communications, so even if life has been quiet as of late, there is potentially a big change coming your way. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 14 Sep. 2023 Even Pedro Luque’s vigorous camerawork and Michael Giacchino’s hard-working, typically forceful orchestral score can only do so much to keep the momentum humming. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vigorous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English vigorous, vigrous, from Anglo-French, from vigour

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of vigorous was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near vigorous

Cite this Entry

“Vigorous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


vig·​or·​ous ˈvig-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce vigorous (audio)
: having vigor : robust
vigorous youth
a vigorous plant
: done with force and energy
a vigorous protest
vigorously adverb
vigorousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on vigorous

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