plural noun
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

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Examples of vitals in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nurses wheeled equipment out onto the pavement to take vitals. ProPublica, "Protect Independent Journalism," 9 Apr. 2021 At the hospital, after checking my vitals and asking me to describe what was wrong, the triage nurse talked to my father. Jaquira Díaz, Time, "I Avoided Facing My Mental Illness for Decades. The Pandemic Changed That," 3 Mar. 2021 Travelers will be required to wear a digital wristband that will monitor their vitals, including temperature and blood pressure, and track their location via GPS. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "How Thailand Is Making Quarantine Shorter and Possibly More Luxurious," 9 Mar. 2021 Phillips released the arrow but struck behind the main vitals (heart and lungs). Josh Honeycutt, Outdoor Life, "The 10 Weirdest Deer of 2020," 24 Feb. 2021 Isis Reyes, a nurse practitioner in a cardiac surgery intensive care unit at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said patients complain about being disturbed at night as nurses give medications, check their vitals or monitor machines. Allyson Waller New York Times, Star Tribune, "College student's simple invention helps nurses work and patients rest," 14 Feb. 2021 Dense enough to penetrate a Canada’s body, HeviShot 4s are also numerous enough to increase chances of a hit in the vitals. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "The Best Shotgun Loads for 5 Late-Season Birds," 20 Jan. 2021 The Stride features handlebars integrated with a heart rate monitor that displays your vitals on the touchscreen monitor. Nicole Saunders, NBC News, "5 best folding treadmills of 2021: Bowflex, Echelon and more," 14 Jan. 2021 The results are always the same, the bullet pushes through the vitals, leaving a trail of destruction. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "The 6 Best Big-Game Loads for the .308 Winchester," 25 Dec. 2020

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

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for vitals

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vitals.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for vitals



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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