English Dictionary

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vigil (ˈvɪdʒɪl Pronunciation for vigil



  1. a purposeful watch maintained, esp at night, to guard, observe, pray, etc
  2. the period of such a watch
  3. (Roman Catholic 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
  4. a period of sleeplessness; insomnia

Word Origin

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

Translations for 'vigil'

  • British English: vigil A vigil is a period of time when people remain quietly in a place, especially at night, for example because they are praying or are making a political protest. NOUNProtesters are holding a twenty-four hour vigil outside the party headquarters.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: vigília
  • Chinese: > 值班尤指夜间的
  • European Spanish: vigilia
  • French: manifestation silencieuseN
  • German: Wache
  • Italian: veglia
  • Japanese: 徹夜
  • Korean: 철야 기도 및 농성
  • Portuguese: vigília
  • Spanish: vigilia

Example Sentences Including 'vigil'

A candlelight vigil will be held at the Alberta Legislature tomorrow for the thousands of people killed in the war in Iraq.
Edmonton Sun (2003)
A young man keeps vigil far into the night, tracking the progress of a comet through a telescope from his college window.
Lisa Jardine THE CURIOUS LIFE OF ROBERT HOOKE: The Man who Measured London (2003)
About 100 people had maintained a candlelit vigil over night.
Independent (1998)
However, national governments will need to maintain a constant vigil to ensure that these megacorps do not exploit their economic power.
Business Today (2000)
On Saturday she attended the now traditional vigil against the war in the Gulf.
Skelton, Alison Scott An Older Woman
Sources within Portadown District had expressed opposition to some proposals, which involved ending the vigil outside the church.
Belfast Telegraph (2003)
The Daughters of Sappho kept a vigil in front of the courthouse.
Reeves, Robert Doubting Thomas
The vigil has been going on for days. It's the second time in recent years that Maradona has been hospitalized.
CBC (2004)
The women's vigil at the cruise missile base seemed a suitable site for reflection.
Appiganesi, Lisa Dreams of Innocence


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