in·​vig·​i·​late | \ in-ˈvi-jə-ˌlāt How to pronounce invigilate (audio) \
invigilated; invigilating

Definition of invigilate

intransitive verb

: to keep watch especially, British : to supervise students at an examination

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from invigilate

invigilation \ in-​ˌvi-​jə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce invigilation (audio) \ noun
invigilator \ in-​ˈvi-​jə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce invigilator (audio) \ noun

Watch Out for the Origin of Invigilate

Invigilate is a descendant of the Latin verb vigilare, meaning "to stay awake." As you may have guessed, vigilare is the ancestor of our adjective vigilant ("alertly watchful"), and it also gives us reveille ("a signal to wake up in the morning," via French reveiller) and surveillance ("close watch, supervision," via French survéiller). Invigilate has been a part of the English language since the mid-16th century.

Examples of invigilate in a Sentence

He was asked to invigilate next week.

First Known Use of invigilate

1553, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for invigilate

Latin invigilatus, past participle of invigilare to stay awake, be watchful, from in- + vigilare to stay awake — more at vigilant

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about invigilate

Time Traveler for invigilate

Time Traveler

The first known use of invigilate was in 1553

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about invigilate

Statistics for invigilate

Cite this Entry

“Invigilate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for invigilate


How to pronounce invigilate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of invigilate

British : to watch students who are taking an examination

Comments on invigilate

What made you want to look up invigilate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!