vigil

[ vij-uh l ]
/ ˈvɪdʒ əl /

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.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for vigil

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