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See more synonyms for vesper on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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  1. of, pertaining to, appearing in, or proper to the evening.
  2. of or relating to vespers.
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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

Related Words for vespers

prayer, evensong, orison, service

Examples from the Web for vespers

Historical Examples of vespers

  • The bell rang for vespers, and Greta did not go to the chapel.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • But it is half-past five, I hear the bell ringing my vespers.

  • Then, on that night, after vespers, great noises were heard.

  • When vespers were over and the cardinals were departing, I left them.

    Lucretia Borgia

    Ferdinand Gregorovius

  • Shall Nance and I call by for you on the way to vespers, then?

British Dictionary definitions for vespers


noun (functioning as singular or plural)
  1. mainly RC Church the sixth of the seven canonical hours of the divine office, originally fixed for the early evening and now often made a public service on Sundays and major feast days
  2. another word for evensong (def. 1)
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  1. an evening prayer, service, or hymn
  2. an archaic word for evening
  3. (modifier) of or relating to vespers
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See also vespers

Word Origin for vesper

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


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



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper