[ vij-uh-luhnt ]
/ ˈvɪdʒ ə lənt /


keenly watchful to detect danger; wary: a vigilant sentry.
ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful.

Nearby words

  1. vigil light,
  2. vigil mass,
  3. vigilambulism,
  4. vigilance,
  5. vigilance committee,
  6. vigilante,
  7. vigilantes,
  8. vigilantism,
  9. vigilantly,
  10. vigilius

Origin of vigilant

1470–80; < Latin vigilant- (stem of vigilāns), present participle of vigilāre to be watchful. See vigil, -ant

Related forms
Can be confusedvigilant vigilante

Synonym study

2. See alert. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vigilant

British Dictionary definitions for vigilant


/ (ˈvɪdʒɪlənt) /


keenly alert to or heedful of trouble or danger, as while others are sleeping or unsuspicious
Derived Formsvigilantly, adverbvigilantness, noun

Word Origin for vigilant

C15: from Latin vigilāns keeping awake, from vigilāre to be watchful; see vigil

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 vigilant



late 15c., from Latin vigilantia "wakefulness," from vigilia (see vigil). Related: Vigilantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper