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

adj 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”
basic and fundamental

adj manifesting or characteristic of life

“a vital, living organism”
vital signs”
alive, live
possessing life

adj full of spirit

“a vital and charismatic leader”
full of life, lively
alive, animated
having life or vigor or spirit

adj urgently needed; absolutely necessary

vital for a healthy society”
“of vital interest”
not to be dispensed with; essential

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