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vestal

vestal (vĕs´təl), in Roman religion, priestess of Vesta. The vestals were first two, then four, then six in number. While still little girls, they were chosen from prominent Roman families to serve for 30 (originally 5) years, during which time they could not marry. Their duties included the preparation of sacrifices and the tending of the sacred fire. If any vestal broke her vow of chastity, she was entombed alive. The vestals had great influence in the Roman state.

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vestal virgins

vestal virgins In ancient Rome, priestess of the cult of Vesta, who tended the sacred fire in the Temple of Vesta and officiated at ceremonies in the goddess' honour. The vestals remained in the service of the temple for up to 30 years under vows of absolute chastity, violation of which was punishable by being buried alive.

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vestal

ves·tal / ˈvestl/ • adj. of or relating to the Roman goddess Vesta: a vestal temple. ∎ poetic/lit. chaste; pure. • n. a vestal virgin. ∎ poetic/lit. a chaste woman, esp. a nun.

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Vestal Virgin

Ves·tal Vir·gin (also ves·tal vir·gin) • n. (in ancient Rome) a virgin consecrated to Vesta and vowed to chastity, sharing the charge of maintaining the sacred fire burning on the goddess's altar.

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vestal

vestalbattle, cattle, chattel, embattle, prattle, rattle, Seattle, tattle •fractal •cantle, covenantal, mantel, mantle, Prandtl •pastel • Fremantle • tittle-tattle •startle, stratal •Nahuatl •fettle, kettle, metal, mettle, nettle, petal, Popocatépetl, settle •dialectal, rectal •dental, gentle, mental, Oriental, parental, rental •transeptal •festal, vestal •gunmetal •antenatal, fatal, hiatal, natal, neonatal, ratel •beetle, betel, chital, decretal, fetal •blackbeetle •acquittal, belittle, brittle, committal, embrittle, it'll, kittle, little, remittal, skittle, spittle, tittle, victual, whittle •edictal, rictal •lintel, pintle, quintal •Bristol, Chrystal, crystal, pistol •varietal • coital • phenobarbital •orbital • pedestal • sagittal • vegetal •digital • skeletal • Doolittle •congenital, genital, primogenital, urogenital •capital • lickspittle • hospital • marital •entitle, mistitle, recital, requital, title, vital •subtitle • surtitle •axolotl, bottle, dottle, glottal, mottle, pottle, throttle, wattle •fontal, horizontal •hostel, intercostal, Pentecostal •greenbottle • bluebottle • Aristotle •chortle, immortal, mortal, portal •Borstal •anecdotal, sacerdotal, teetotal, total •coastal, postal •subtotal •brutal, footle, pootle, refutal, rootle, tootle •buttle, cuttle, rebuttal, scuttle, shuttle, subtle, surrebuttal •buntal, contrapuntal, frontal •crustal • societal • pivotal •hurtle, kirtle, myrtle, turtle

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