Definition of vital in English:



  • 1Absolutely necessary; essential.

    ‘secrecy is of vital importance’
    ‘it is vital that the system is regularly maintained’
    • ‘These ‘bogs’ are vital to the eco system of the area and is home to many species of wildlife including otters and warbles.’
    • ‘As the building block of muscle, protein is absolutely vital to a great body.’
    • ‘They say a new school is absolutely vital to the town and that if it is not delivered that well over 100 pupils may be turned away from primary schools in as little as three years time.’
    • ‘‘The role of the priest is absolutely vital to the Church and the welfare of priests would be one of my primary concerns,’ he said.’
    • ‘He observed that plantations in the province are vital to supplying the necessary soft wood for construction and other industrial uses.’
    • ‘‘York Central is absolutely vital to the future of York,’ he says.’
    • ‘The avoidance of more immediate price increases is therefore not merely necessary, but vital to the achievement of economic stability.’
    • ‘Mr Willmott said: ‘They are absolutely vital to the fire service in this county.’’
    • ‘Later today, we're going to talk about homeland security, which is an issue that is absolutely vital to every single governor.’
    • ‘Maintaining a sense of such importance is vital to making the most of a bad situation.’
    • ‘He said the project is absolutely vital to the future development of the area.’
    • ‘This relocation is absolutely vital to the survival of the airport in Southend.’
    • ‘Yet transport remains absolutely vital to the nature of civic life.’
    • ‘So what happens to the US economy is absolutely vital to our own, and to that extent, the US elections are very important to us.’
    • ‘As the chilly winter approaches, international aid is necessary and vital to the people of these regions.’
    • ‘It represents an opportunity to take in all that is necessary and vital to help expand your capacity.’
    • ‘Therefore the hygienic handling and production of feed is absolutely vital to ensure safe food.’
    • ‘Taufik's role has reportedly been vital to the negotiations.’
    • ‘Each player assumes a specific role that is vital to the overall team framework.’
    • ‘Electricity is vital to modern life, usually essential in the operation of equipment using other fuels.’
    essential, indispensable, crucial, key, necessary, needed, required, requisite, important, all-important, of the utmost importance, of great consequence, of the essence, critical, life-and-death, imperative, mandatory, urgent, pressing, burning, compelling, acute, paramount, pre-eminent, high-priority, significant, consequential
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    1. 1.1 Indispensable to the continuance of life.
      ‘the vital organs’
      • ‘Will it ever be possible to develop computer simulations that accurately model the complex inner workings of the human brain and other vital organs?’
      • ‘Appreciating the important work that your liver does every day will help you take care of this vital organ.’
      • ‘This unstable heart rhythm produces an ineffective heartbeat, causing insufficient blood flow to vital organs.’
      • ‘Among other major tasks, the liver detoxifies harmful substances, purifies your blood and manufactures vital nutrients.’
      • ‘The most important thing you can do is to proceed directly to chest compression to move blood to vital organs, particularly the brain and heart.’
      • ‘Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disease that can cause bouts of pain, damage to vital organs and, sometimes, death in childhood.’
      • ‘This makes sure that oxygen gets to the vital organs, such as the brain and heart.’
      • ‘Although testicular cancer is among the easiest cancers to cure, that cure is much harder to achieve once it has spread to vital organs.’
      • ‘As sugar by-products accumulate in vital organs such as the liver, heart and brain, cells become damaged and die.’
      • ‘Thus, local oxygen partial pressure at the alveolar level is much higher than in other vital organs such as heart, liver, and brain.’
      • ‘Not only are relatives asked to accept this situation as death, but also they are asked to agree to the removal of the very vital organs that normally would maintain life.’
      • ‘When a narcotic suppresses respirations and puts people to sleep, the oxygen going to their vital organs is decreased and damage occurs.’
      • ‘Zinc helps organize cells into healthy tissues and organs so your baby has what it needs during the first weeks of pregnancy when vital organs are being developed.’
      • ‘The increase in lymphocytes was accompanied by lymphocytic infiltration in vital organs.’
      • ‘With narrowed blood vessels, vital organs do not get enough blood.’
      • ‘Blood pressure and blood flow to vital organs drop suddenly.’
      • ‘Thus they became, in effect, extensions of the host itself - as indispensable as a vital organ.’
      • ‘Fatalities are rare and usually a consequence of exsanguination at the scene or penetration of a vital organ.’
      • ‘Atherosclerosis can also diminish blood flow to other vital organs, including your intestines or kidneys.’
      • ‘This procedure uses artificial extracorporeal circulation to provide oxygenated blood to vital organs while the heart is stopped.’
      life-preserving, life-sustaining, basic, fundamental, essential, necessary
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  • 2Full of energy; lively.

    ‘a beautiful, vital girl’
    • ‘He said there was an ancient ritual where a beautiful young girl would be asked to go down a mine that was running low in ore so she could ‘transmit her vital energy to Mother Earth’.’
    • ‘Work to rid yourself of toxins in your food, relationships, emotions, and environment, and vital energy will expand in your life.’
    • ‘If you are unfamiliar with shiatsu, it is a deeply relaxing Japanese healing art concerned with the free flow of ki - vital energy - through the body.’
    • ‘Sesame is great for iron, a crucial mineral for maintaining vital energy levels.’
    • ‘The newspaper-business passages had a visceral, vital energy.’
    • ‘That's one thing Warriner has got in spades - vital energy.’
    • ‘In this two-day course you will learn to harness and channel this vital energy to help yourself, family, friends, community and world situations.’
    • ‘This is said to balance the flow of vital energy (Qi, pronounced ‘chee’) in the body and regulate the function of the inner organs.’
    • ‘Her main energy channel at the head and the feet was blocked including the energy centres, which supply each cell with vital energy.’
    • ‘In traditional Chinese medicine, areas of the foot correspond to organs and body parts, and disease is a matter of blocked vital energy.’
    • ‘My vital energy has drained right out of me just when I wasn't looking, like a slow puncture in my tire, I have been let down.’
    • ‘The vital energy and expressive dances got me in touch with my inner Greek poet.’
    • ‘On today's evidence, he is very happy, and more than able, to play a full, vital part for Surrey this season.’
    • ‘Many doctors, influenced by theories of ageing as a depletion of vital energy, reinforced their view.’
    • ‘They will allow you to put your whole heart into your healing efforts without draining you of your own vital energies.’
    • ‘Before marriage, use vital energies in study, and after marriage in creating family success.’
    • ‘The medicine is used to replenish vital energy and to treat spontaneous perspiration, night sweat, and prolapse of uterus and anus.’
    • ‘Winter is the right season to store energy and vital essence.’
    • ‘The seeds are also packed with various B vitamins which could provide amorous pensioners with a vital energy boost.’
    • ‘Matlala has a vital energy about him, a ready smile and a relaxed confidence, which boils down to him quietly bubbling with charm.’
    lively, energetic, active, sprightly, spry, animated, spirited, high-spirited, vivacious, exuberant, bouncy, enthusiastic, vibrant, zestful, sparkling, dynamic, vigorous, full of vim and vigour, forceful, fiery, lusty, hale and hearty, in fine fettle
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  • 3archaic Fatal.

    ‘the wound is vital’


  • The body's important internal organs.

    ‘he felt the familiar knot contract in his vitals’
    • ‘The patient's vitals remained stable and blood loss was monitored closely during the procedure.’
    • ‘On physical exam the respiratory rate was 16, the rest of the vitals were normal.’
    • ‘She noted vitals, took throat cultures, and talked through an interpreter to the nursing students.’
    • ‘The white plates are composed of a very tough but light titanium alloy that provides a good deal of extra protection to the body's vitals.’
    • ‘Sensor rings attached to fingers monitor heart rate and other vitals.’
    • ‘The sudden din sent an ice-pick of fear into her vitals, and fear quickly turned to unreasoning panic as she felt the great vessel unmistakably heel over.’
    • ‘The nurse walked back in and took Carmyn's vitals.’
    • ‘He knelt down, doing an immediate check of vitals.’
    • ‘It was kind of freaky, really, how his vitals were high, even though his body parts were missing.’
    • ‘‘You idiot,’ I told him quietly, tossing aside the bottle and checking his vitals.’
    • ‘This is the energy that keeps your heart beating and your lungs breathing, the vitals.’
    • ‘I gave my kidneys and other vitals a good poking also.’
    • ‘But their professionalism in immediately stabilizing my wife and taking her vitals was matched with exceptional kindness.’
    • ‘Anest ducked under its defenses, and thrust his sword deep into the Demon's vitals where it stuck, half-melted.’
    • ‘But when they had burned the thigh pieces and tasted the vitals, they cut all the remainder into pieces and spitted them.’
    • ‘They checked his vitals and loaded him into the ambulance.’
    • ‘As he told his story, the nurse checking his vitals wasn't able to get his blood pressure.’
    • ‘There was a cruel scar on her emotionless face, a tantalizing jumpsuit with armor covering the vitals, and a sense of power and ambition radiating from her.’
    • ‘He looked down to see an arrow deep within his vitals.’
    • ‘The main musical comfort in his terrible mental and physical trials as the consumption gnawed ever more deeply into his vitals, was Sir Hubert Parry.’


Late Middle English (describing the animating principle of living beings, also in vital (sense 2 of the adjective)): via Old French from Latin vitalis, from vita ‘life’. The sense ‘essential’ dates from the early 17th century.