A patient's vital signs are their important body functions, such as pulse rate, that shows they are still alive. Use the adjective vital to describe something that is important and necessary, or a person full of energy.

Vital descends from Middle English, from Old French, from Latin vītālis, from vīta, "life." If you are vital to the organization you work for, it means they cannot live without you — or at least that you're an important part of the team. If you're a vital force in your church volunteer group, you probably are a leader with lots of energy to give.

Definitions of vital
  1. adjective
    performing an essential function in the living body
    vital organs”
    “blood and other vital fluids”
    “the loss of vital heat in shock”
    “a vital spot”
    synonyms: life-sustaining
    basic and fundamental
  2. adjective
    manifesting or characteristic of life
    “a vital, living organism”
    vital signs”
    alive, live
    possessing life
  3. adjective
    full of spirit
    “a vital and charismatic leader”
    synonyms: full of life, lively
    alive, animated
    having life or vigor or spirit
  4. adjective
    urgently needed; absolutely necessary
    vital for a healthy society”
    “of vital interest”
    synonyms: critical
    not to be dispensed with; essential
Word Family
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