Definition of Vestal Virgin in US English:

Vestal Virgin

(also vestal virgin)


  • (in ancient Rome) a virgin consecrated to Vesta and vowed to chastity, sharing the charge of maintaining the sacred fire burning on the goddess's altar.

    • ‘It was the punishment stipulated for Vestal Virgins found guilty of sexual misconduct.’
    • ‘The purity of women represents and safeguards the purity of the state; thus the consecrated virginity of the Vestal Virgins upheld the integrity of ancient Rome.’
    • ‘I have paid my devotions today both to the successor to St Peter and to the Vestal Virgins, who have no one left to remember them.’
    • ‘We lived facing the temple of the Vestal Virgins across the Tiber.’
    • ‘The punishment for lost chastity of a Vestal Virgin was live burial, because that was considered the best way to kill them without spilling their blood.’
    maiden, unmarried girl, maid, vestal virgin, chaste woman, celibate
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Vestal Virgin

/ˈvestl ˈvərjən/