- 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.
- a devotional watching, or keeping awake, during the customary hours of sleep.
- Sometimes vigils.a nocturnal devotional exercise or service, especially on the eve before a church festival.
- the eve, or day and night, before a church festival, especially an eve that is a fast.
Origin of vigil
Examples from the Web for vigil
“If 6,000 people were at the vigil, we hope it will be big,” said university student council President Jalen Ross of the search.Person of Interest Identified in Disappearance of UVA Student Hannah Graham
September 19, 2014
Finally, there was a vigil of about ten people standing hand in hand across the street form the clinic praying quietly.The Loud Truth About Abortion Protesters
January 22, 2014
Instead, they had stood in the back and bore witness, not even seeking shade until the end of the vigil.
As the vigil came to a close, Jay-Z and Beyoncé departed, having been classy enough to decline to take the stage.
Two church members stood outside the Church, embracing each mourner as they walked to the vigil.Sandy Hook, Connecticut: A Small Town Devastated
Eliza Shapiro, Matthew Zeitlin
December 15, 2012
He cleared the room, and took up his vigil outside the door.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Despite all the fatigue of that terrible night of vigil, he did not think of sleeping.
Of everything else—the vigil, the preparations, the funeral—he remembered nothing.
Dan waked him at twelve for his vigil, and he in turn was wakened at two.
He was not in the least sleepy; but after a while the vigil began to tell upon his nerves.
- 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 and History for vigil
early 13c., "eve of a religious festival" (an occasion for devotional watching or observance), from Anglo-French and Old French vigile, from Latin vigilia "watch, watchfulness," from vigil "watchful, awake," from PIE *wog-/*weg- "be lively or active, be strong" (cf. Latin vigere "be lively, thrive," velox "fast, lively," vegere "to enliven;" Sanskrit vaja- "strength, speed;" Old English wacan "to wake up, arise," wacian "to be awake;" Old High German wahta "watch, vigil"). Meaning "watch kept on a festival eve" is from late 14c.; that of "occasion of keeping awake for some purpose" is recorded from 1711.