Definition of vigil
1 : the act of keeping awake at times when sleep is customary; also : a period of wakefulness
2 : an act or period of watching or surveillance : watch kept vigil at her bedside
3a : a watch formerly kept on the night before a religious feast with prayer or other devotionsb : the day before a religious feast observed as a day of spiritual preparationc : 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 of vigil from the Web
About 100 people gathered at Second Baptist Church on Saturday night for a candlelight vigil, seeking healing for those injured, and the community.
In the weeks since the shooting, community members gathered at a vigil at Hobart High School to remember the 9-year-old victim.
A woman at the vigil said the family forgave the driver.
Mahmoud Hassanen Aboras, father of Nabra Hassanen, right, gets a hug from a supporter Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Reston, Va., prior to the start of a vigil in honor of Nabar, who was killed over the weekend.
She and Ron considered moving but changed their minds after witnessing an outpouring of support, including a $35,000 reward raised by neighbors and a candlelight vigil that attracted hundreds.
A vigil is expected to be held Wednesday night in the area.
Rana Abdelhamid, a 24-year-old Muslim woman who lives in New York, started organizing vigils in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston.
The latter is the mantra that dominated vigils and billboards in the days after the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vigil'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of vigil
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 centurySee Words from the same year
VIGIL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vigil for English Language Learners
: an event or a period of time when a person or group stays in a place and quietly waits, prays, etc., especially at night
VIGIL Defined for Kids
Definition of vigil for Students
: an act of keeping watch especially when sleep is usual
Seen and Heard
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