Definition of subvital in US English:

subvital

adjective

  • 1Chiefly Biology. Characteristic of an organism, tissue, etc. that is losing or has lost viability; lacking full physiological or metabolic function; not living.

  • 2Genetics. Of a mutation, mutant gene, etc.: associated with reduced viability but allowing a significant proportion (typically more than 10 per cent) of affected individuals to survive or reach maturity.

noun

  • Genetics A subvital mutation, mutant gene, etc.

Origin

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal. From sub- + vital.

Pronunciation

subvital

/ˌsʌbˈvʌɪtl/