Middle English, from Latin vitalis of life, from vita life; akin to Latin vivere to live

  • Date: 14th century


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