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[ves-tuh] /ˈvɛs tə/
the ancient Roman goddess of the hearth, worshiped in a temple containing an altar on which a sacred fire was kept burning by the vestal virgins: identified with the Greek Hestia.
Astronomy. the third largest and one of the four brightest asteroids.
(lowercase) British. a short friction match with a wood or wax shank.
a female given name.
Origin of Vesta
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Vesta
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Vesta Philbrook would not have been capable of a vengeance so mean.

  • These rites and services were in honor of Vesta, who was the goddess of Home.

  • Their mother was a Vestal virgin,—that is, she was a maiden who tended the sacred fire in the temple of the goddess Vesta.

  • I've seen classes on Vesta, Juno, and Eros—and they're all the same.

    Anchorite Randall Garrett
  • Vesta was firm in her intention of giving up the ranch and leaving the Bad Lands as soon as she could sell the cattle.

  • Vesta Philbrook was trying to help the old negro to his feet.

  • You know my influence with the Emperors and with the Pontifex of Vesta.

    The Unwilling Vestal Edward Lucas White
  • Vesta would hear of nothing but that they come first to the house for dinner.

  • Of fire, Vesta was the goddess; or, as the Romans sometimes thought, Vesta herself was fire.

British Dictionary definitions for Vesta


a short friction match, usually of wood
Word Origin
C19: named after the goddess; see Vesta1


the Roman goddess of the hearth and its fire. In her temple a perpetual flame was tended by the vestal virgins Greek counterpart Hestia


the brightest of the four largest asteroids. Diameter: about 530 km (240 miles)
Word Origin
C19: named after the goddess; see Vesta1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Vesta in Science
The brightest of all the asteroids and the fourth to be discovered, in 1807. It is the third largest, with a diameter of about 530 km (329 mi), and the only asteroid that can be seen without a telescope. Evidence of lava flows on its surface suggests that it once had a molten interior. See more at asteroid.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Vesta in Culture

[Greek name Hestia]

The Roman and Greek goddess of the hearth and home. Roman and Greek cities were supposed to have a public hearth dedicated to Vesta, at which the fire was kept constantly burning.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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