ves·​pers ˈve-spərz How to pronounce vespers (audio)
variants or Vespers
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: the sixth of the canonical hours that is said or sung in the late afternoon
: a service of evening worship

Examples of vespers in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Breaking away from a French tradition of short organ movements to alternate with sections of the Roman Catholic mass and vespers services, Franck created larger-scale works for concert performances. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 9 Jan. 2022 Up his game with stylish coupe glasses, perfect for classic martinis and vespers. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 6 Dec. 2022 Moore was known on campus as a powerful speaker, tasked as first captain with addressing the student body during weekday vespers in the cavernous chapel with its stained glass windows depicting historical military scenes. Sydney Trent, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 As well as hymns, a motet and a sermon, the solemn vespers would include a gigantic two-part oratorio composed by the church’s Cantor—the director of music—with a text taken from St. Matthew’s gospel. Boyd Tonkin, WSJ, 14 Apr. 2022 Both the vespers and funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Cleveland’s website. Cameron Fields, cleveland, 22 Sep. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vespers.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Anglo-French vespres, from Medieval Latin vesperae, from Latin, plural of vespera evening; akin to Latin vesper evening star

First Known Use

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of vespers was in 1595

Dictionary Entries Near vespers

Cite this Entry

“Vespers.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


noun plural
ves·​pers ˈves-pərz How to pronounce vespers (audio)
often capitalized
: a late afternoon or evening church service

More from Merriam-Webster on vespers

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