[ vij-uhl ]
/ ˈvɪdʒ əl /
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wakefulness or watchfulness maintained for any reason during the normal hours for sleeping:They passed many hours in vigil.
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 quiet demonstration to support a cause, protest an injustice, honor the dead, etc.: A candlelight vigil in remembrance of the two fallen officers will be held tonight at sundown.
  1. Sometimes vigils . a nocturnal devotional exercise or service, especially on the eve before a church festival:The Easter vigil reflects on the holy sacraments as well as the resurrection and ascension of Christ.
  2. the eve, or day and night, before a church festival, especially an eve that is a fast.
a period of wakefulness from inability to sleep.
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Origin of vigil

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English vigil(i)e, from Anglo-French, from 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. 2023

How to use vigil in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vigil

/ (ˈvɪdʒɪl) /

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