vital signs

plural noun

Definition of vital signs

1 : signs of life … frightened even more by the fact that a few months ago you were clinically dead—that's right, dead—all vital signs gone.— Asa Baber specifically : the pulse rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and blood pressure of a person Her vital signs and findings from physical examination were normal, and she was not hospitalized. — John P. Hanrahan et al.
2 : measurable variables considered to indicate the general state or condition of something The economy's vital signs are stronger than they have been in years. Companies are posting jobs faster than they can find workers to fill them.— Ben Casselman He proposes that living things act as a single, coordinated entity that maintains the earth's temperature and other vital signs within very narrow limits that are to the entity's own benefit.— Michael Oppenheimer The singular vital sign is sometimes used for a single sign or measurement. The box … houses nine removable electronic modules, each of which monitors a specific vital sign, such as temperature, oil pressure, and the rpm of the power turbine and gas producer.— Jay Coyle The singular form is also often used before another noun. vital sign monitors vital sign data

Examples of vital signs in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Three times, he was rushed to the hospital without any vital signs after overdosing. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Who was Jeff Grosso? A primer on the skateboarding legend," 5 Mar. 2021 Oula patients will also be equipped with at-home devices and kits, such as a blood pressure cuff and fetal monitor to allow their vital signs to be remotely monitored by their care team in between visits. Bérénice Magistretti, Forbes, "FemBeat: Oula Health Launches Its First Prenatal Clinic, Creating A Hybrid Model Of Care For Pregnant Women," 2 Mar. 2021 Students learn how to draw blood, administer injections, take vital signs, schedule lab tests and assist clinicians. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vista Community Clinic offers low-cost medical assistant training program," 18 Mar. 2021 The software, called CoMET, draws from a wide range of health measures including an EKG, laboratory test results and vital signs. Jim Morrison, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Doctors Are Using Artificial Intelligence to Battle Covid-19," 5 Mar. 2021 Classes will focus on administering medicine, interpreting vital signs, stabilizing fractures and how to treat and properly transport patients to a facility. Jessika Harkay,, "City of Hartford teams up with American Medical Response to offer paid training for residents who want to be EMTs," 26 Feb. 2021 Saleska has chosen this place to do his work because the world’s largest contiguous rainforest contains clues that can help scientists diagnose the implications of Earth’s changing vital signs. Daniel Glick, Scientific American, "Can the Amazon Save the Planet?," 3 Apr. 2017 Less than 90 minutes later, another nurse checking on the man will notice his vital signs ebbing and summon the hospital’s Rapid Response Team to the fifth floor. Nanette Asimov,, "Inside a California COVID ward, exhausted staff care for patients on the edge of life and death," 24 Jan. 2021 His vital signs showed dangerously low potassium levels, and his heart kept skipping beats. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, "The Plague Year," 28 Dec. 2020

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

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vital signs

Time Traveler for vital signs

Time Traveler

The first known use of vital signs was in 1801

See more words from the same year

Statistics for vital signs

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vital signs.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vital signs

vital signs


English Language Learners Definition of vital signs

: important body functions (such as breathing and heartbeat) that are measured to see if someone is alive or healthy

vital signs

noun plural

Medical Definition of vital signs

: signs of life specifically : the pulse rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, and often blood pressure of a person

Comments on vital signs

What made you want to look up vital signs? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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