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vesper

[ves-per]
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noun
  1. (initial capital letter) the evening star, especially Venus; Hesperus.
  2. Also called vesper bell. a bell rung at evening.
  3. vespers, (sometimes initial capital letter) Ecclesiastical.
    1. a religious service in the late afternoon or the evening.
    2. the sixth of the seven canonical hours, or the service for it, occurring in the late afternoon or the evening.
    3. Roman Catholic Church.a part of the office to be said in the evening by those in major orders, frequently made a public ceremony in the afternoons or evenings of Sundays and holy days.
    4. Anglican Church.evensong(def 1).
  4. Archaic. evening.
adjective
  1. of, pertaining to, appearing in, or proper to the evening.
  2. of or relating to vespers.

Origin of vesper

1350–1400; Middle English, partly < Latin: evening, evening star; partly < Old French vespres evening service < Medieval Latin vesperās, accusative plural of Latin vespera, feminine variant of vesper; cognate with Greek hésperos; akin to west
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vesper

Historical Examples

  • The vesper hymn was sung by the whole congregation, standing.

    A Son of Hagar</p>

    Sir Hall Caine

  • Illustrated by Vesper L. George, and by numerous photographs.

  • At the vesper hour, there came an eighth, the stench of which was horrible.

    Thais

    Anatole France

  • "Vesper service is beginning in the chapel, sir," says the gent.

    Torchy

    Sewell Ford

  • Ah, that is the vesper bell, as they call it—the unclean beasts that they are!

    Earl Hubert's Daughter

    Emily Sarah Holt


British Dictionary definitions for vesper

vesper

noun
  1. an evening prayer, service, or hymn
  2. an archaic word for evening
  3. (modifier) of or relating to vespers
See also vespers

Word Origin

C14: from Latin: evening, the evening star; compare Greek hesperos evening; see west

Vesper

noun
  1. the planet Venus, when appearing as the evening star
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

Word Origin and History for vesper

n.

late 14c., "the evening star," from Old French vespre, from Latin vesper (masc.), vespera (fem.) "evening star, evening, west," related to Greek hesperos, and ultimately from PIE *wespero- (cf. Old Church Slavonic večeru, Lithuanian vakaras, Welsh ucher, Old Irish fescor "evening"), from root *we- "down" (cf. Sanskrit avah "down, downward"). Meaning "evening" is attested from c.1600.

Vespers "sixth canonical hour" is attested from 1610s, from plural of Latin vespera "evening;" the native name was evensong (Old English æfen-sang).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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