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.
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.
Ves*ta"les(?), n. pl. [NL. See Vestal.] (Zol.) A group of butterflies including those known as virgins, or gossamer-winged butterflies.
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