vig·​i·​lant | \ ˈvi-jə-lənt How to pronounce vigilant (audio) \

Definition of vigilant

: alertly watchful especially to avoid danger

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Other Words from vigilant

vigilantly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for vigilant



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Choose the Right Synonym for vigilant

watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert mean being on the lookout especially for danger or opportunity. watchful is the least explicit term. the watchful eye of the department supervisor vigilant suggests intense, unremitting, wary watchfulness. eternally vigilant in the safeguarding of democracy wide-awake applies to watchfulness for opportunities and developments more often than dangers. wide-awake companies latched onto the new technology alert stresses readiness or promptness in meeting danger or in seizing opportunity. alert traders anticipated the stock market's slide

Examples of vigilant in a Sentence

Over the years, as tension between pitchers and hit batsmen heightened to the point that hitters began rushing the mound, umpires have had to become far more vigilant about keeping the game from degenerating into a dogfight. — Buzz Bissinger, Sports Illustrated, 21 Mar. 2005 At the Château de Wideville's magnificent seventeenth-century gates, guests have their names ticked off by vigilant staff and then snake through a lugubrious park à l'anglaise. — Hamish Bowles, Vogue, September 2002 And as a foreign tourist in North Korea, under the care of vigilant minders who wanted me to see only the best, I had enjoyed the finest fare available. — Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair, January 2001 A vigilant hand had, as usual, kept the fire alive and the lamp trimmed; and the room, with its rows and rows of books, its bronze and steel statuettes of "The Fencers" on the mantelpiece and its many photographs of famous pictures, looked singularly home-like and welcoming. — Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence, 1920 When traveling through the city, tourists should be extra vigilant. They were vigilant about protecting their children. We remain vigilant against theft.
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Recent Examples on the Web The presidential race remains tight in key states and the firms remain vigilant for another Trump victory like the one that caught many by surprise in 2016. Ben Brody,, "K Street Buzzes Over Possible Shift to Biden After Trump Era," 19 Oct. 2020 Centuries ago, when people cooked over an open fire, everyone knew to be vigilant for the dangers. Bee Wilson, WSJ, "For Cooks, Fear Can Be a Secret Ingredient," 17 Oct. 2020 Everyone needs to remain vigilant, continue to listen to local officials and be safe. CBS News, "Hurricane Delta leaves hundreds of thousands without power," 11 Oct. 2020 Thus far, Pearland ISD varsity football teams haven’t been directly affected by the coronavirus, but Pardo knows his staff must remain vigilant. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "Football: Pearland vs. Dawson rescheduled for Oct. 16," 7 Oct. 2020 With covid-19 and the upcoming flu season, families must remain vigilant. Washington Post, "How to make the most of your outdoor space as the pandemic drags on into fall and winter," 30 Sep. 2020 While the state has allowed businesses such as gyms, restaurants, bars and museums to reopen, Lane said the public must remain vigilant and committed to public health. Lorraine Longhi, The Arizona Republic, "Scottsdale mayor rescinds mask order, but Maricopa County mandate remains," 21 Sep. 2020 At Tuesday’s news conference, Edwards urged the public to remain vigilant over the long months ahead. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Six months into pandemic, Salt Lake County reflects on past successes and challenges ahead," 16 Sep. 2020 Residents returning to their homes should be vigilant for emergency vehicles in the region, Cal Fire said. Chronicle Staff,, "California Wildfires: Live Updates Aug. 31-Sept. 1," 3 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vigilant.' 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 vigilant

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vigilant

Middle English (Scots), from Latin vigilant-, vigilans, from present participle of vigilare to keep watch, stay awake, from vigil awake

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Time Traveler for vigilant

Time Traveler

The first known use of vigilant was in the 15th century

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Statistics for vigilant

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vigilant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for vigilant


How to pronounce vigilant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vigilant

: carefully noticing problems or signs of danger


vig·​i·​lant | \ ˈvi-jə-lənt How to pronounce vigilant (audio) \

Kids Definition of vigilant

: alert especially to avoid danger … he was constantly vigilant, looking for the next nearest hiding place should the sound of engines come.— Lois Lowry, The Giver

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