vestal

1 of 2

adjective

ves·​tal ˈve-stᵊl How to pronounce vestal (audio)
1
: of or relating to the Roman goddess Vesta
2
a
: of or relating to a vestal virgin
b
: chaste

vestal

2 of 2

noun

Examples of vestal in a Sentence

Adjective a schoolteacher who dresses with almost vestal modesty while on the job
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
There were papal cloaks styled as trench coats, and vestal robes turned into coveralls, but with a solemn finish that showed respect for both the clothes and the creative congregation that wants to wear them. Harper's BAZAAR, 15 Sep. 2022 Souza sets out to reacquaint us with that vanished world, where norms obtained and men were men and words had meaning—where the sun rose on the shrines of our ancestors and six virgins ceaselessly guarded the vestal flame. Katy Waldman, Slate Magazine, 3 Aug. 2017
Noun
With ritual precision, the vestals awaken their miserable charges each dawn and roll them about on their beds of pain while performing ablutions, in the formal movements of which the maidens are highly trained. Gabriel Winant, The New Republic, 23 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vestal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vestal was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near vestal

Cite this Entry

“Vestal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vestal. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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