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Vestal definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

VEST'AL, a. [L. vestalis, from Vesta, the goddess of fire, Gr.]
1. Pertaining to Vesta, the goddess of fire among the Romans, and a virgin.
2. Pure; chaste.
VEST'AL, n. A virgin consecrated to Vesta, and to the service of watching the sacred fire, which was to be perpetually kept burning upon her altar. The Vestals were six in number, and they made a vow of perpetual virginity.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: of or relating to Vesta; "vestal virgin"
2: in a state of sexual virginity; "pure and vestal modesty"; "a spinster or virgin lady"; "men have decreed that their women must be pure and virginal" [syn: pure, vestal, virgin, virginal, virtuous] n
1: a chaste woman

Merriam Webster's

I. adjective Date: 15th century 1. of or relating to the Roman goddess Vesta 2. a. of or relating to a vestal virgin b. chaste II. noun Date: 15th century vestal virgin

Oxford Reference Dictionary

adj. & n. --adj. 1 chaste, pure. 2 of or relating to the Roman goddess Vesta. --n. 1 a chaste woman, esp. a nun. 2 Rom. Antiq. a vestal virgin. Phrases and idioms: vestal virgin Rom. Antiq. a virgin consecrated to Vesta and vowed to chastity, who shared the charge of maintaining the sacred fire burning on the goddess's altar. Etymology: ME f. L vestalis (adj. & n.) (as VESTA)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Vestal Ves"tal, a. [L. Vestalis belonging to Vesta, vestal. See Vesta.] Of or pertaining to Vesta, the virgin goddess of the hearth; hence, pure; chaste.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Vestal Ves"tal, n. [L. Vestalis (sc. virgo): cf. F. vestale. See Vestal, a.] 1. (Rom. Antiq.) A virgin consecrated to Vesta, and to the service of watching the sacred fire, which was to be perpetually kept burning upon her altar. Note: The Vestals were originally four, but afterward six, in number. Their term of service lasted thirty years, the period of admission being from the sixth to the tenth year of the candidate's age. 2. A virgin; a woman pure and chaste; also, a nun. How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! --Pope.

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

a. 1. Of Vesta. 2. Pure, chaste, immaculate, stainless.

Moby Thesaurus

Platonic, abstinent, bachelor girl, celibate, continent, feme sole, intact, lone woman, maid, maiden, maiden lady, maidenly, old maid, single girl, spinster, spinstress, vestal virgin, virgin, virginal

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