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a. Of, relating to, or characteristic of life: vital strength. See Synonyms at living.
b. Necessary to the continuation of life; life-sustaining: a vital organ; vital nutrients.
c. Used or done on a living cell or tissue: vital dyes; vital staining.
d. Concerned with or recording data pertinent to lives: vital records.
2. Full of life or energy; animated: "The population of the teeming, vital slum ... declined" (Rick Hampson).
a. Necessary to continued existence or effectiveness: "Irrigation was vital to early civilization" (William H. McNeill).
b. Extremely important; essential: "A vital component of any democracy is a free labor movement" (Bayard Rustin).
4. Destructive to life; fatal: a vital injury.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin vītālis, from vīta, life; see gwei- in Indo-European roots.]

vi′tal·ly adv.
vi′tal·ness n.


the quality of being vital
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.vitalness - the quality possessed by something that you cannot possibly do without
essentiality, essentialness - basic importance
2.vitalness - the quality of being essential to maintain life
essentiality, essentialness - basic importance
References in periodicals archive ?
During the period of the Anglo-French Entente (1904-14), one might expect that for both economic and political reasons Britain would have pursued a market-opening strategy with France - whose vitalness to Britain's national security was on the rise from the Moroccan crisis of 1905 to the outbreak of World War I, when Britain entered on the side of France.