vital

adjective
vi·​tal | \ ˈvī-tᵊl How to pronounce vital (audio) \

Definition of vital

1a : of the utmost importance a vital clue vital resources
b : fundamentally concerned with or affecting life or living beings: such as
(1) : tending to renew or refresh the living : invigorating
(2) : destructive to life : mortal
2a : concerned with or necessary to the maintenance of life vital organs blood and other vital fluids
b : existing as a manifestation of life
3 : full of life and vigor : animated
4 : characteristic of life or living beings
5 : recording data relating to lives
6 : of, relating to, or constituting the staining of living tissues

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Other Words from vital

vitally \ ˈvī-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce vitally (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for vital

essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character. conflict is essential in drama fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse. fundamental principles of algebra vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation. cut off from vital supplies cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends. a cardinal rule in buying a home

Examples of vital in a Sentence

These matters are vital to national defense. The sciences are a vital part of the school curriculum. your heart, lungs, and other vital organs Exercise keeps her young and vital.
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Recent Examples on the Web

As Orlando City continues a packed stretch of games, rotational depth will be vital. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Three things we learned from Orlando City’s 3-1 loss to Philadelphia," 6 July 2019 And paying attention is vital, as the system isn’t perfect, and isn’t designed to spot obstacles like stopped fire trucks. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Tesla Model 3 Can Survive a Crash—and Avoid One Too," 3 July 2019 Sound argument is needed to persuade other philosophers of such intellectual leaps; to enlist the wider world, a compelling vocabulary is vital. The Economist, "How to change a word’s meaning," 22 June 2019 Indeed, most doctors consider open communication about death vital, research shows. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Terminally ill Portland doctor helps others give dire diagnoses with compassion, clarity," 16 June 2019 Indeed, most doctors consider open communication about death vital, research shows. NBC News, "Never say 'die': Why so many doctors won't break bad news," 12 June 2019 Indeed, most doctors consider open communication about death vital, research shows. Jonel Aleccia, CNN, "For many doctors breaking bad news, 'death' is a four-letter word," 11 June 2019 Bowden and Smith are not only vital to the drama company, but to Bel Air High School as well, Hariana Sethi said. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Bel Air Drama Company supporters plead to keep directors, maintain family," 11 June 2019 Set standards for handling complaints, training for employees to create more awareness and guidelines for investigations are vital not just for victims of harassment, Eskamani added. Gray Rohrer, orlandosentinel.com, "Sexual harassment allegations rock Tallahassee again after leaders fail to consider #metoo laws," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vital.' 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 vital

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for vital

Middle English, from Latin vitalis of life, from vita life; akin to Latin vivere to live — more at quick entry 1

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Statistics for vital

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vital

The first known use of vital was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for vital

vital

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of vital

: extremely important
: needed by your body in order to keep living
: very lively or energetic

vital

adjective
vi·​tal | \ ˈvī-tᵊl How to pronounce vital (audio) \

Kids Definition of vital

1 : concerned with or necessary to the continuation of life The heart and lungs are vital organs.
2 : full of life and energy At 80, he's still an active and vital man.
3 : very important a vital clue

Other Words from vital

vitally adverb These are vitally needed supplies.

vital

adjective
vi·​tal | \ ˈvīt-ᵊl How to pronounce vital (audio) \

Medical Definition of vital

1a : existing as a manifestation of life
b : concerned with or necessary to the maintenance of life vital organs blood and other vital fluids
2 : characteristic of life or living beings vital activities
3 : recording data relating to lives vital records
4 : of, relating to, or constituting the staining of living tissues

Other Words from vital

vitally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce vitally (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on vital

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vital

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vital

Spanish Central: Translation of vital

Nglish: Translation of vital for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vital for Arabic Speakers

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