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Webster 1913 Edition


Vital

Vi′tal

,
Adj.
[F., fr. L.
vitalis
, fr.
vita
life; akin to
vivere
to live. See
Vivid
.]
1.
Belonging or relating to life, either animal or vegetable;
as,
vital
energies;
vital
functions;
vital
actions.
2.
Contributing to life; necessary to, or supporting, life;
as,
vital
blood
.
Do the heavens afford him
vital
food?
Spenser.
And
vital
virtue infused, and
vital
warmth.
Milton.
3.
Containing life; living.
“Spirits that live throughout, vital in every part.”
Milton.
4.
Being the seat of life; being that on which life depends; mortal.
The dart flew on, and pierced a
vital
part.
Pope.
5.
Very necessary; highly important; essential.
A competence is
vital
to content.
Young.
6.
Capable of living; in a state to live; viable.
[R.]
Pythagoras and Hippocrates . . . affirm the birth of the seventh month to be
vital
.
Sir T. Browne.
Vital air
,
oxygen gas; – so called because essential to animal life.
[Obs.]
Vital capacity
(Physiol.)
,
the breathing capacity of the lungs; – expressed by the number of cubic inches of air which can be forcibly exhaled after a full inspiration.
Vital force
.
(Biol.)
See under
Force
. The vital forces, according to Cope, are nerve force (neurism), growth force (bathmism), and thought force (phrenism), all under the direction and control of the vital principle. Apart from the phenomena of consciousness, vital actions no longer need to be considered as of a mysterious and unfathomable character, nor vital force as anything other than a form of physical energy derived from, and convertible into, other well-known forces of nature.
Vital functions
(Physiol.)
,
those functions or actions of the body on which life is directly dependent, as the circulation of the blood, digestion, etc.
Vital principle
,
an immaterial force, to which the functions peculiar to living beings are ascribed.
Vital statistics
,
statistics respecting the duration of life, and the circumstances affecting its duration.
Vital tripod
.
(Physiol.)
See under
Tripod
.
Vital vessels
(Bot.)
,
a name for latex tubes, now disused. See
Latex
.

Vi′tal

,
Noun.
A vital part; one of the vitals.
[R.]

Webster 1828 Edition


Vital

VI'TAL

,
Adj.
[L. vitalis, from vita, life. This must be a contraction of victa, for vivo forms vixi, victus; Gr. contracted.]
1.
Pertaining to life, either animal or vegetable; as vital energies; vital powers.
2.
Contributing to life; necessary to life; as vital air; vital blood.
3.
Containing life.
Spirits that live throughout, vital in every part - and vital virtue infus'd, and vital warmth.
4.
Being the seat of life; being that on which life depends.
The dart flew on, and pierc'd a vital part.
5.
Very necessary; highly important; essential. Religion is a business of vital concern. Peace is of vital importance to our country.
6.
So disposed as to live.
Pythagoras and Hippocrates affirm the birth of the seventh month to be vital. [Little used.]
Vital air, pure air or oxygen gas, which is essential to animal life.

Definition 2022


vital

vital

English

Adjective

vital (comparative more vital, superlative most vital)

  1. Relating to, or characteristic of life.
    vital energies; vital functions; vital actions
  2. Necessary to the continuation of life; being the seat of life; being that on which life depends.
    The brain is a vital organ.
    • Spenser
      Do the heavens afford him vital food?
  3. Invigorating or life-giving.
  4. Necessary to continued existence.
    The transition to farming was vital for the creation of civilisation.
  5. Relating to the recording of life events.
    Birth, marriage and death certificates are vital records.
  6. Very important.
    It is vital that you don't forget to do your homework.
    • 2012 December 14, Simon Jenkins, “We mustn't overreact to North Korea boys' toys”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 2, page 23:
      David Cameron insists that his latest communications data bill is “vital to counter terrorism”. Yet terror is mayhem. It is no threat to freedom. That threat is from counter-terror, from ministers capitulating to securocrats.
  7. Containing life; living.
    • Milton
      spirits that live throughout, vital in every part
    • Alexander Pope
      The dart flew on, and pierced a vital part.
  8. Capable of living; in a state to live; viable.
    • Sir Thomas Browne
      Pythagoras and Hippocrates [] affirm the birth of the seventh month to be vital.

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

External links

  • vital in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • vital in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Catalan

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin vitalis.

Adjective

vital m, f (masculine and feminine plural vitals)

  1. vital

Related terms


French

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin vītālis (of life, life-giving).

Pronunciation

Adjective

vital m (feminine singular vitale, masculine plural vitaux, feminine plural vitales)

  1. vital

Related terms


Galician

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin vītālis (of life, life-giving).

Adjective

vital m, f (plural vitais)

  1. vital (relating to, or characteristic of life)
  2. vital, important, necessary

Related terms


German

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin vītālis.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /viˈtaːl/
  • Rhymes: -aːl

Adjective

vital (comparative vitaler, superlative am vitalsten)

  1. lively; hale; vigorous
  2. (rather rare, formal) vital (necessary to, or characteristic of life)

Declension

Synonyms


Norwegian Bokmål

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin vitalis

Adjective

vital (neuter singular vitalt, definite singular and plural vitale)

  1. vital

References


Norwegian Nynorsk

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin vitalis

Adjective

vital (neuter singular vitalt, definite singular and plural vitale)

  1. vital

References


Portuguese

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin vitalis.

Adjective

vital m, f (plural vitais, comparable)

  1. vital (relating to, or characteristic of life)
  2. vital (necessary to the continuation of life)
  3. vital (very important)

Synonyms

Related terms


Spanish

Etymology

Borrowing from Latin vitalis.

Adjective

vital m, f (plural vitales)

  1. vital

See also

Related terms