Dictionary.com

vigil

[ vij-uhl ]
/ ˈvɪdʒ əl /
Save This Word!

noun
wakefulness maintained for any reason during the normal hours for sleeping.
a watch or a period of watchful attention maintained at night or at other times: The nurse kept her vigil at the bedside of the dying man.
a period of wakefulness from inability to sleep.
Ecclesiastical.
  1. a devotional watching, or keeping awake, during the customary hours of sleep.
  2. Sometimes vigils. a nocturnal devotional exercise or service, especially on the eve before a church festival.
  3. the eve, or day and night, before a church festival, especially an eve that is a fast.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of vigil

1200–50; Middle English vigil(i)e<Anglo-French <Medieval Latin vigilia eve of a holy day, special use of Latin vigilia watchfulness, equivalent to vigil sentry + -ia-y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use vigil in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vigil

vigil
/ (ˈvɪdʒɪl) /

noun
a purposeful watch maintained, esp at night, to guard, observe, pray, etc
the period of such a watch
RC Church Church of England the eve of certain major festivals, formerly observed as a night spent in prayer: often marked by fasting and abstinence and a special Mass and divine office
a period of sleeplessness; insomnia

Word Origin for vigil

C13: from Old French vigile, from Medieval Latin vigilia watch preceding a religious festival, from Latin: vigilance, from vigil alert, from vigēre to be lively
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
FEEDBACK