- of or relating to life: vital processes.
- having remarkable energy, liveliness, or force of personality: a vital leader.
- being the seat or source of life: the vital organs.
- necessary to life: vital fluids.
- necessary to the existence, continuance, or well-being of something; indispensable; essential: vital for a healthy society.
- affecting the existence, well-being, truth, etc., of something: a vital error.
- of critical importance: vital decisions.
- destructive to life; deadly: a vital wound.
- essential to maintain lifethe lungs perform a vital function
- forceful, energetic, or livelya vital person
- of, relating to, having, or displaying lifea vital organism
- indispensable or essentialbooks vital to this study
- of great importance; decisivea vital game
- archaic influencing the course of life, esp negativelya vital treachery
- the bodily organs, such as the brain, liver, heart, lungs, etc, that are necessary to maintain life
- the organs of reproduction, esp the male genitals
- (plural) the essential elements of anything
late 14c., “of or manifesting life,” from Latin vitalis “of or belonging to life,” from vita “life,” related to vivere “to live,” from PIE root *gwei- (cf. Old Persian *jivaka- “alive;” Greek bios “life,” zoon “animal;” Lithuanian gyvata “(eternal) life;” Old English cwic, cwicu “living, alive;” Old Irish bethu “life;” cf. also bio-). The sense of “necessary or important” is from 1610s, via the notion of “essential to life” (late 15c.). Vital capacity recorded from 1852.
- Of, relating to, or characteristic of life.
- Necessary to the continuation of life.
- Used or done on a living cell or tissue, as in staining.
- Destructive to life; fatal, as of an injury.