vigil

noun

vig·​il ˈvi-jəl How to pronounce vigil (audio)
1
: the act of keeping awake at times when sleep is customary
also : a period of wakefulness
2
: an event or a period of time when a person or group stays in a place and quietly waits, prays, etc., especially at night
a candlelight vigil
kept vigil at her bedside
3
a
: a watch formerly kept on the night before a religious feast with prayer or other devotions
b
: the day before a religious feast observed as a day of spiritual preparation
c
: evening or nocturnal devotions or prayers
usually used in plural

Examples of vigil in a Sentence

kept vigil at their ailing son's bedside the entire time he was in the hospital
Recent Examples on the Web On March 7, community members held the first vigil for Lord since Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced the indictment of the seven suspects. Kira Caspers, The Arizona Republic, 29 Mar. 2024 The Nickelodeon 'golden boy' accused of abusive behavior in new doc Nashville holds candlelight vigil honoring Riley Strain About 50 people gathered for a candlelight vigil memorializing Strain on March 22, the same day his body was found in the Cumberland River. Sandy Mazza, USA TODAY, 25 Mar. 2024 Those calls were repeated at dozens of screenings and industry events throughout the week, with many filmmakers also gathering for a vigil to honor the more than 30,000 Palestinians who have died since the conflict began. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 17 Mar. 2024 As the investigation continues in Nashville, a vigil was held Wednesday at Strain's former high school in Springfield, Missouri. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 14 Mar. 2024 Nex Benedict’s death last month triggered vigils not only in that Tulsa suburb but across the country because the sophomore, who used they/them pronouns, had told family that other students were bullying them in school. Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Washington Post, 13 Mar. 2024 More than one hundred small flames encased in blue glass flickered in the hands of mourners across a field in Odessa Sunday night for the candlelight vigil honoring Officer Cody Allen, 35, who died while on duty Thursday. Noelle Alviz-Gransee, Kansas City Star, 4 Mar. 2024 Nex’s death drew national attention, with multiple vigils taking place for the teen throughout the US, as advocates pointed to a heightened and hostile climate against the LGBTQ+ community. Virginia Langmaid, CNN, 2 Mar. 2024 During the search, a vigil was held at his old high school, Kickapoo High, to pray for his safe return. Noelle Alviz-Gransee, Kansas City Star, 25 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English vigile, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin vigilia watch on the eve of a feast, from Latin, wakefulness, watch, from vigil awake, watchful; akin to Latin vigēre to be vigorous, vegēre to enliven — more at wake

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Time Traveler
The first known use of vigil was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near vigil

Cite this Entry

“Vigil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vigil. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

vigil

noun
vig·​il ˈvij-əl How to pronounce vigil (audio)
1
a
: the day before a religious feast
b
: prayers or religious services held in the evening or at night
usually used in plural
2
: an act or period of staying awake at times when one normally would be sleeping
an all-night vigil spent awaiting her return
3
: an act or period of attentive watching : watch
kept vigil at the bedside of his ill son

More from Merriam-Webster on vigil

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