American Dictionary of the English Language

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VI'TAL, adjective [Latin vitalis, from vita, life. This must be a contraction of victa, for vivo forms vixi, victus; Gr. contracted.]

1. Pertaining to life, either animal or vegetable; as vital energies; vital powers.

2. Contributing to life; necessary to life; as vital air; vital blood.

3. Containing life.

Spirits that live throughout, vital in every part - and vital virtue infus'd, and vital warmth.

4. Being the seat of life; being that on which life depends.

The dart flew on, and pierc'd a vital part.

5. Very necessary; highly important; essential. Religion is a business of vital concern. Peace is of vital importance to our country.

6. So disposed as to live.

Pythagoras and Hippocrates affirm the birth of the seventh month to be vital [Little Used.]

Vital air, pure air or oxygen gas, which is essential to animal life.