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 second is being both risk-taking and reluctant — taking advantage of opportunities, for example, but also exercising vigilance before taking the organization in an extreme direction. Renita Kalhorn, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 Parties should instead allow more internal pluralism, while exercising greater vigilance over potential anti-democratic tendencies within their ranks. Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2021 Although vaccines confer protection against disease that’s expected to last for many months, if not years, with one or two brief jabs, masks require constant reinvestment and vigilance. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 6 Aug. 2021 Much like a neighborhood crime watch area, the business watch district encourages vigilance. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 6 Aug. 2021 At the same time, more than a year with only sporadic and locally contained outbreaks has worn down public vigilance. Sha Hua, WSJ, 30 July 2021 The league is exacting similar vigilance from its media. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 27 July 2021 The White House is pushing dual-track messaging, emphasizing the need for vigilance and vaccinations in defeating the virus, alongside advocacy for major new economic investments. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, 6 July 2021 The competing impulses to celebrate progress against the virus while maintaining vigilance against further spread have colored the White House's approach to the second pandemic-era Fourth of July holiday. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 4 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for vigilance

Time Traveler

The first known use of vigilance was in 1533

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Dictionary Entries Near vigilance



vigilance committee

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Statistics for vigilance

Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vigilance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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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 vigilance (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on vigilance

Nglish: Translation of vigilance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vigilance for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about vigilance


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