vig·​i·​lance | \ˈvi-jə-lən(t)s \

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

Truth be told, given the Spurs’ vigilance with bumps and bruises during the summertime, that might have been enough to end Metu’s tournament on its own. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Metu’s misfortune means missed opportunity for Spurs’ second-rounder," 12 July 2018 Throughout the day, some parents at local swimming areas kept an especially close eye on their children, as public officials called for heightened vigilance following the spate of deaths. Jeremy C. Fox, Amelia Nierenberg,, "State officials, families alarmed by spate of drowning deaths," 8 July 2018 Then one day a slight relaxation in Will and Tom's near-constant vigilance leads to their capture. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Leave No Trace' marked by brilliant performances from Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie," 28 June 2018 Dallas businessman Roy Bailey witnessed the first lady’s vigilance after a round of golf with the mayor on April 27. Anne-marie O'neill,, "From the Archives: How Rudy Giuliani and Judith Nathan Started Their Marriage by Ending Another," 4 Apr. 2018 But a multicourse affair requiring vigilance at the stove just wasn’t feasible. Sara Franklin, charlotteobserver, "No courses, no assigned seats, no-hassle dinner party," 19 June 2018 In Michigan, health officials issued a warning to the public this week, urging vigilance. Julie Bosman, New York Times, "Tainted Synthetic Marijuana Sickens More Than 90 in Midwest, Killing 2," 6 Apr. 2018 In fact, only one other behavior is likely more important: vigilance on the roadways. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Top 5 Wisconsin wildlife risks to humans? Maybe not what you think.," 13 June 2018 Computers, on the other hand, can maintain a constant state of vigilance. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Do Doctors and Nurses Skip Hand Washing? Cue the Video," 28 May 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

6 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

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 \ 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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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