Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Roman Mythology The goddess of the hearth, worshiped in a temple containing the sacred fire tended by the vestal virgins.
  • n. The brightest of all the asteroids and the fourth to be discovered.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Hestia.
  • proper n. A female given name in occasional use.
  • proper n. The fourth asteroid discovered.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the great divinities of the ancient Romans, identical with the Greek Hestia. She was a virgin, and the goddess of the hearth; hence, also, of the fire on it, and the family round it.
  • n. An asteroid, or minor planet, discovered by Olbers in 1807.
  • n. A wax friction match.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of the chief divinities of the ancient Romans, equivalent to the Greek Hestia, one of the twelve great Olympians, the virgin goddess of the hearth, presiding over both the private family altar and the central altar of the city, the tribe, or the race.
  • n. The fourth planetoid, discovered by Olbers, at Bremen, in 1807.
  • n. [lowercase] A wax match which may be ignited by friction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Roman mythology) goddess of the hearth and its fire whose flame was tended by vestal virgins; counterpart of Greek Hestia
  • n. the brightest asteroid but the fourth to be discovered

Etymologies

Latin; see wes-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin vestale, (to dwell, stay, similar in idea to the Greek hestia.) Vesta itself came to mean chaste, pure, or virgin, based from this goddess. (Wiktionary)

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