vig·​i·​lance | \ ˈvi-jə-lən(t)s How to pronounce vigilance (audio) \

Definition of vigilance

: the quality or state of being vigilant

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Examples of vigilance in a Sentence

eternal vigilance is the price of freedom

Recent Examples on the Web

The European Union has explicitly called for continued vigilance against the Russian threat. Matt Apuzzo,, "Europe built a system to fight Russian meddling. It’s struggling.," 6 July 2019 But with suspicion among the public running high, calls for extra vigilance soon morphed into harsher demands. The Economist, "Sri Lanka responds to Islamist terrorism by terrorising Muslims," 6 June 2019 During the French Revolution, the animal was a symbol of vigilance; now, its traits—unabashed, proud, possessing a fighting spirit—serve as a down-and-dirty counterpart to serene Marianne, symbol of the Republic. Natasha Frost, Quartzy, "A French rooster called Maurice is being sued by his neighbors," 6 July 2019 How had this happened in a city with a police force known for its vigilance and, at times, excessive force? Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "The Disillusion and Frustration of a New Generation is Fuelling Hong Kong’s Protests," 3 July 2019 Attendance at plenty of conferences in the past warned me that a lack of vigilance could result in dozens of chats that, ultimately, blended into one. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "How to have great conversations with strangers," 25 June 2019 Despite a history of vigilance about foreign spying with multiple laws intended to protect data, the Kremlin highlighted the agreement between Huawei and MTS, one of the three largest cellphone operators in Russia. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "Huawei, Shunned by U.S. Government, Is Welcomed in Russia," 6 June 2019 Just like preventing fire from spreading from one house to another, wildlife control is a neighborhood-wide problem that requires everyone’s vigilance, says Rick Boatner of Oregon’s fish and wildlife agency. Janet Eastman,, "What to do about cougars in the neighborhood, skunks under the house, bats in the attic," 19 July 2019 Preserving those units will require greater vigilance by the city, strategies to persuade property owners to keep them low-rent and financial incentives to make such a move worthwhile, housing experts told city officials recently. David Garrick,, "San Diego may shift housing focus to preserving older, low-rent apartments," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vigilance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vigilance

1533, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for vigilance

Last Updated

28 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vigilance

The first known use of vigilance was in 1533

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More Definitions for vigilance


vig·​i·​lance | \ ˈvi-jə-ləns How to pronounce vigilance (audio) \

Kids Definition of vigilance

: the quality or state of staying alert especially to possible danger The guards maintained their vigilance in watching for intruders.


vig·​i·​lance | \ ˈvij-ə-lən(t)s How to pronounce vigilance (audio) \

Medical Definition of vigilance

: the quality or state of being wakeful and alert : degree of wakefulness or responsiveness to stimuli

Other Words from vigilance

vigilant \ -​lənt How to pronounce vigilant (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on vigilance

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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