[ ves-per ]
See synonyms for vesper on
  1. (initial capital letter) the evening star, especially Venus; Hesperus.

  2. Also called vesper bell . a bell rung at evening.

  1. vespers, (sometimes initial capital letter)Ecclesiastical.

    • a religious service in the late afternoon or the evening.

    • the sixth of the seven canonical hours, or the service for it, occurring in the late afternoon or the evening.

    • 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.

    • Anglican Church. evensong (def. 1).

  2. Archaic. evening.

  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

Words Nearby vesper Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vesper in a sentence

  • At another time she took from Bouvard twenty sous, which she placed at vesper-time in the sacristans collecting-plate.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2 | Gustave Flaubert
  • Like the meadowlark again, the vesper sparrow occasionally sings as it soars upward from its grassy home.

    Bird Neighbors | Neltje Blanchan
  • Its habit of singing later in the evening gave it the name of “vesper.”

    Western Bird Guide | Chester A. (Chester Albert) Reed, Harry F. Harvey, and Rex I. Brasher
  • His attention was constantly interrupted by the little flutter of color made more distinct by a vesper before the photograph.

    John Ermine of the Yellowstone | Frederic Remington
  • Would you could have heard that vesper hymn stealing hirsute through the mellow evening-air!

British Dictionary definitions for vesper (1 of 2)


/ (ˈvɛspə) /

  1. an evening prayer, service, or hymn

  2. an archaic word for evening

  1. (modifier) of or relating to vespers

Origin of vesper

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

British Dictionary definitions for Vesper (2 of 2)


/ (ˈvɛspə) /

  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