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 This time after childbirth provided rest for the new mother, help with nursing, and provided an opportunity for close monitoring of vital signs and routine blood work looking for signs of anemia or infection. Laura Kusisto, WSJ, 7 June 2021 And the number of respondents with positive sentiments is still significant for supporting roles in patient care, like taking vital signs (50% are comfortable with this, and 65% want the practice to continue or expand post-pandemic). James Freeze, Forbes, 13 May 2021 On the episode, which aired Thursday, April 8, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) gave Meredith a CT scan, which showed promising vital signs, although everyone’s favorite surgeon was still unable to stay conscious for long. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 9 Apr. 2021 David Mann remembered a moment when her vital signs waned. Matthias Gaffney, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 May 2021 Due to Covid-19, the economy in April 2020 was like a patient in shock on an emergency-room table, with vital signs moving wildly in different directions. Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ, 16 May 2021 Eldridge’s questions led Moseng to agree that while Floyd's blood pressure had been high, other vital signs were normal. Eric Ferkenhoff, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2021 At the end of that last shift, Arciaga had to take the vital signs of a patient whose roommate had just developed respiratory symptoms. Bryce Covert, The Atlantic, 16 Apr. 2021 The captain told the investigator Woods’ vital signs were consistent with shock and that once in the ambulance he was given 4 milligrams of morphine and medication to ease nausea. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of vital signs

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for vital signs

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The first known use of vital signs was in 1801

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Statistics for vital signs

Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vital signs.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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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


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