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

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 European regulators are approaching the Libra with similar vigilance. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Facebook’s crypto presents a massive privacy problem," 20 June 2019 In Cairo’s Tahrir Square — the epicenter of the Arab Spring protests that set in motion events that led to Morsi’s presidency — the mood was calm, with little obvious sign of extra police vigilance, although some street cafes were closed. Laura King,, "Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's death stirs memories of onetime democracy hopes," 17 June 2019

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

14 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).


a period when something is suspended

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