a general massacre of the French in Sicily by the local population, begun at the sound of the vesper bell on Easter Monday, 1282.
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British Dictionary definitions for sicilian vespers
(functioning as singular) a revolt in 1282 against French rule in Sicily, in which the ringing of the vesper bells on Easter Monday served as the signal to massacre and drive out the French
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