Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The capacity to live, grow, or develop.
  • noun The characteristic, principle, or force that distinguishes living things from nonliving things.
  • noun Physical or intellectual vigor; energy or liveliness. synonym: vigor.
  • noun The capacity to endure.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun I. The exhibiting of vital powers or capacities; the principle of animation or of life; vital force. See life.
  • noun Manifestation of a capacity for enduring and performing certain functions: as, an institution devoid of vitality.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being vital; the principle of life; vital force; animation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The capacity to live and develop
  • noun Energy or vigour
  • noun That which distinguishes living from nonliving things; life, animateness

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

  • noun an energetic style
  • noun (biology) a hypothetical force (not physical or chemical) once thought by Henri Bergson to cause the evolution and development of organisms
  • noun a healthy capacity for vigorous activity
  • noun the property of being able to survive and grow

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French vitalité, from Latin vitalitas ("vital force, life"), from vitalis ("vital"); see vital.

Examples

  • And finally, both Lord Robertson and Secretary of State Powell pointed to what they called the vitality and the relevance of NATO, and said any damage done to the reputation of NATO over the last couple weeks can quite, in their words, be easily overcome.

    CNN Transcript Feb 20, 2003

  • Professor Huxley himself has told us that he lived in 'the hope and the faith that in course of time we shall see our way from the constituents of the protoplasm to its properties,' _i. e._ from carbonic acid, water, and ammonia to that mysterious thing which we call vitality or life -- from the molecular motion of the brain to Socratic wisdom,

    The Faust-Legend and Goethe's 'Faust'

  • But the thought that it is mechanics and chemistry applied by something of which they as such, form no part, some agent or principle which we call vitality, is welcome to us.

    The Breath of Life

  • The strongest, the most amply endowed with what we call vitality or power to live, win.

    The Last Harvest

  • "The Indian savages," said Margrave, sullenly, "have not a health as perfect as mine, and in what you call vitality -- the blissful consciousness of life -- they are as sticks and stones compared to me."

    A Strange Story — Volume 02

  • "The Indian savages," said Margrave, sullenly, "have not a health as perfect as mine, and in what you call vitality -- the blissful consciousness of life -- they are as sticks and stones compared to me."

    A Strange Story — Complete

  • Nouns of this type are characterized by vitality but not by the same kind of animacy that Swahili-speakers assign to humans or animals.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Nouns of this type are characterized by vitality but not by the same kind of animacy that Swahili-speakers assign to humans or animals.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Just what I need – increased regulation, higher deficits (and they were plenty high already), a complete misreading of how to deal with Afghanistan (more troops – like the British and Russian campaigns there never happened), and the sclerotic hands of government unions to suck the remaining vitality from the system.

    Matthew Yglesias » Zero

  • The latter seems unlikely, since it would require undoing fateful decisions that MySpace made several years ago, decisions that made good sense at the time but have since been draining vitality from the company.

    Why MySpace Is Really GeoCities 2.0

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