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

The longer people stay in space the more their vital signs change in small but significant ways, but there aren’t long-term health consequences, the study found. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Astronauts Can Withstand Longer Space Trips, New Study of Twins Finds," 11 Apr. 2019 Gaining control of medical devices through wireless connections would allow hackers to visualize vital signs or potentially even cause harm. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Design a Network That Lives Inside Your Body," 13 Mar. 2019 Data on the patients included 48 different bits of information, from vital signs and lab tests to demographic information. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "AIs trained to help with sepsis treatment, fracture diagnosis," 27 Oct. 2018 Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters 200 deaths had been confirmed and another person was found without vital signs. Fox News, "Thousands still in shelters after deadly flooding in Japan," 13 July 2018 Their vital signs were closely monitored, and they were given anti-anxiety medication to stay calm. Anna Werner, CBS News, "New video of Thai cave rescue shows just how close divers came to disaster," 11 July 2018 The result is a near-real-time readout of Earth’s vital signs, firing off alerts and alarms whenever the ailing patient takes a turn for the worse. Bill Gourgey, WIRED, "How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters," 10 July 2018 The doctors are telling you to give it time, and the vital signs are good. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Massive, ‘Unprecedented’ Dust Storm Puts Mars Rover at Risk," 14 June 2018 Hofschulz also routinely neglected to take or document her patients' vital signs. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Owner of a Wauwatosa pain clinic is charged as part of a nationwide opioids crackdown," 29 June 2018

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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Statistics for vital signs

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for vital signs

The first known use of vital signs was in 1801

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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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