Meaning of vestal in English:


Pronunciation /ˈvɛstl/


  • 1Relating to the Roman goddess Vesta.

    • ‘a vestal temple’
    1. 1.1 literary Chaste; pure.
      • ‘The taste of white bread did not cross my vestal lips until I was six, when the doctor recommended - before the days of fiber and oat bran - that it would be healthier for my grandmother.’
      chaste, virginal, celibate, abstinent, self-restrained, self-denying


  • 1A Vestal Virgin.

    maiden, unmarried girl, maid, vestal virgin, chaste woman, celibate
    1. 1.1 literary A chaste woman, especially a nun.
      ‘Whether Pope meant the line to be ironic or not, the poem clearly comes down on the side of earthly, physical love and remembering, as opposed to the ‘vestals’ who have never lived at all and have nothing to forget.’
      • ‘The title of his film comes from Alexander Pope's poem ‘Eloisa to Abelard’, and the stanza goes: ‘How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!’
      • ‘Later on it occurs to the otherwise gullible Jude that ‘it had been no vestal who chose that missile for opening her attack on him’.’
      nun, novice, abbess, prioress, Mother Superior, Reverend Mother