adjective vig·i·lant \ˈvi-jə-lənt\

: carefully noticing problems or signs of danger

Full Definition of VIGILANT

:  alertly watchful especially to avoid danger
vig·i·lant·ly adverb

Examples of VIGILANT

  1. When traveling through the city, tourists should be extra vigilant.
  2. They were vigilant about protecting their children.
  3. We remain vigilant against theft.
  4. Over the years, as tension between pitchers and hit batsmen heightened to the point that hitters began rushing the mound, umpires have had to become far more vigilant about keeping the game from degenerating into a dogfight. —Buzz Bissinger, Sports Illustrated, 21 Mar. 2005

Origin of VIGILANT

Middle English (Scots), from Latin vigilant-, vigilans, from present participle of vigilare to keep watch, stay awake, from vigil awake
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of VIGILANT

watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert mean being on the lookout especially for danger or opportunity. watchful is the least explicit term <the watchful eye of the department supervisor>. vigilant suggests intense, unremitting, wary watchfulness <eternally vigilant in the safeguarding of democracy>. wide-awake applies to watchfulness for opportunities and developments more often than dangers <wide-awake companies latched onto the new technology>. alert stresses readiness or promptness in meeting danger or in seizing opportunity <alert traders anticipated the stock market's slide>.
VIGILANT Defined for Kids


adjective vig·i·lant \ˈvi-jə-lənt\

Definition of VIGILANT for Kids

:  alert especially to avoid danger <… he was constantly vigilant, looking for the next nearest hiding place should the sound of engines come. — Lois Lowry, The Giver>


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