vi·​tals | \ ˈvī-tᵊlz How to pronounce vitals (audio) \

Definition of vitals

1a : internal bodily organs (such as the heart, lungs, and brain) that are essential to life especially : the vital organs of the abdomen (such as the liver and kidneys) … charming opponents with her killer looks before delivering a karate kick to their vitals— Stephen O'Shea There is very little room to slip an arrow over that log and into the buck's vitals. — North American Hunter
b : essential parts Delving into its slippery ways, the blog showed the Sony malware cloaking itself within the vitals of the machine …— George Smith
2 : vital statistics sense 2a We take our drinks and pens to a table and slowly start getting to know each other. In fact, it takes all of 10 minutes to get his vitals in writing (surgeon, 33, Yale, lives uptown) …— Christine Fenno Look past … Bryant McKinni's mind-boggling vitals (6'8", 343) and focus on one number: 0. That's how many sacks he surrendered in his college career.ESPN The Magazine
3 : vital signs sense 1 The nurse who came in most afternoons to check his vitals and most evenings to get him ready for the night …— Stephen King

First Known Use of vitals

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of vitals was in 1607

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Cite this Entry

“Vitals.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce vitals (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vitals

old-fashioned : the organs of the body (such as the heart, lungs, and liver) that are needed in order to keep living


noun plural
vi·​tals | \ ˈvī-tᵊlz How to pronounce vitals (audio) \

Kids Definition of vitals

: the bodily organs (as the heart, lungs, and liver) that are needed to stay alive


noun plural
vi·​tals | \ ˈvīt-ᵊlz How to pronounce vitals (audio) \

Medical Definition of vitals

: vital organs (as the heart, liver, lungs, and brain)

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