vital

adjective
vi·​tal | \ ˈvī-tᵊl How to pronounce vital (audio) \

Essential Meaning of vital

1 : extremely important : crucial These matters are vital to national defense. He played a vital [=key] role in guiding the project. See More ExamplesThe sciences are a vital part of the school curriculum. It is vital that you follow all safety procedures. = It is of vital importance that you follow all safety procedures.Hide
2 : needed by your body in order to keep living your heart, lungs, and other vital organs
3 : very lively or energetic Exercise keeps her young and vital. Their music still seems fresh and vital after all these years.

Full Definition of vital

1a : of the utmost importance a vital clue vital resources
b : fundamentally concerned with or affecting life or living beings: such as
(1) : tending to renew or refresh the living : invigorating
(2) : destructive to life : mortal
2a : concerned with or necessary to the maintenance of life vital organs blood and other vital fluids
b : existing as a manifestation of life
3 : full of life and vigor : animated
4 : characteristic of life or living beings
5 : recording data relating to lives
6 : of, relating to, or constituting the staining of living tissues

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Other Words from vital

vitally \ ˈvī-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce vital (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for vital

essential, fundamental, vital, cardinal mean so important as to be indispensable. essential implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself or its character. conflict is essential in drama fundamental applies to something that is a foundation without which an entire system or complex whole would collapse. fundamental principles of algebra vital suggests something that is necessary to a thing's continued existence or operation. cut off from vital supplies cardinal suggests something on which an outcome turns or depends. a cardinal rule in buying a home

Examples of vital in a Sentence

These matters are vital to national defense. The sciences are a vital part of the school curriculum. your heart, lungs, and other vital organs Exercise keeps her young and vital.
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Recent Examples on the Web Even more convenient this year is that the Lions are winless in their rebuild under new coach Dan Campbell, and a slim margin of error has been further reduced by a slew of injuries to vital players. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 10 Oct. 2021 Every charitable tax deduction deprives the government of vital tax proceeds needed to fund public education, infrastructure, and climate change. Kat Taylor, Fortune, 10 Oct. 2021 Engelthaler believes that using genomic surveillance to keep watch on the variants will be a vital way to prevent future deadly outbreaks. Melina Walling, The Arizona Republic, 9 Oct. 2021 Their contributions are a vital tool in the battles against climate change, disease and poverty around the globe. Justin Fenner, Robb Report, 9 Oct. 2021 It’s both a vital piece of historical record that bravely captures the unseen horrors of the pandemic and a generous celebration of human dignity whose existence feels miraculous. Tomris Laffly, Variety, 8 Oct. 2021 More than ever companies need to make vital changes in their business strategy and operations to survive. Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 Both acts relied heavily on radio airplay, back then a vital connective tissue between hard rock bands and their audiences. Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2021 Immediately after the Category 4 storm made landfall near New Orleans on Aug. 29, more than 90 percent of offshore production in the vital Gulf of Mexico energy production region was shut down. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Oct. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for vital

Middle English, from Latin vitalis of life, from vita life; akin to Latin vivere to live — more at quick entry 1

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Time Traveler for vital

Time Traveler

The first known use of vital was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near vital

vita-glass

vital

vital air

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Statistics for vital

Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vital.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vital. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for vital

vital

adjective
vi·​tal | \ ˈvī-tᵊl How to pronounce vital (audio) \

Kids Definition of vital

1 : concerned with or necessary to the continuation of life The heart and lungs are vital organs.
2 : full of life and energy At 80, he's still an active and vital man.
3 : very important a vital clue

Other Words from vital

vitally adverb These are vitally needed supplies.

vital

adjective
vi·​tal | \ ˈvīt-ᵊl How to pronounce vital (audio) \

Medical Definition of vital

1a : existing as a manifestation of life
b : concerned with or necessary to the maintenance of life vital organs blood and other vital fluids
2 : characteristic of life or living beings vital activities
3 : recording data relating to lives vital records
4 : of, relating to, or constituting the staining of living tissues

Other Words from vital

vitally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce vital (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on vital

Nglish: Translation of vital for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vital for Arabic Speakers

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