vital capacity

noun

: the breathing capacity of the lungs expressed as the number of cubic inches or cubic centimeters of air that can be forcibly exhaled after a full inspiration

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But as our commitment to pluralism waned, that system broke down and that vital capacity eroded. Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2021 The three best divers in the group had an average vital capacity of 7.9 liters, while the three worst averaged just 6.7 liters. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 27 Feb. 2020

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

Word History

First Known Use

1852, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vital capacity was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near vital capacity

Cite this Entry

“Vital capacity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vital%20capacity. Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

vital capacity

noun
: the breathing capacity of the lungs expressed as the number of cubic inches or cubic centimeters of air that can be forcibly exhaled after one full act of breathing in

Medical Definition

vital capacity

noun
: the breathing capacity of the lungs expressed as the number of cubic inches or cubic centimeters of air that can be forcibly exhaled after a full inspiration
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