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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ At the weekend they held a silent vigil in Liverpool.
▪ Outside, 100 opponents of the death penalty held a silent vigil, and a handful of its supporters jeered.
▪ It has urged women to assemble in their streets to pray together and stage silent vigils.
▪ But as he began his sixth day his silent vigil ended.
▪ At the weekend they held a silent vigil in Liverpool.
▪ Outside, 100 opponents of the death penalty held a silent vigil, and a handful of its supporters jeered.
▪ All the McIlkenny grandchildren are holding candles in support of the vigil for their grandfather.
▪ Buddhist monks dressed in ochre robes lit traditional butter lamps and held a six-hour prayer vigil at a Himalayan monastery in Sikkim.
▪ They have the backing of a prison reform group, and will hold a candlelight vigil outside the jail this weekend.
▪ Canon Oates held another vigil to mark John's five hundredth day in August.
▪ What thanks is this for keeping vigil outside in the street nearly all night?
▪ He was always in the cheerful rooms upstairs, where the Sisters kept a constant vigil on premature and very sick children.
▪ They kept up a twenty-four-hour vigil outside Coleherne Court, and plagued her at the kindergarten.
▪ Time lost its familiar context, and uncertainty and foreboding colored those who kept vigil.
▪ Miles kept vigil by the door but began to grow tired.
▪ Charles departs for the opera, leaving a distraught Diana to keep a bedside vigil for two days by herself.
▪ All that night again Kalchu kept his vigil.
▪ A well-loved monument to the devotion of a little terrier who kept vigil on his master's grave for many years.
▪ As his devoted family maintained a constant vigil at his bedside, they were rewarded by gradual signs of improvement.
▪ The family are maintaining a bedside vigil for their son who suffered serious head injuries in the attack.
▪ A blizzard kept demonstrators away, and a planned church vigil reportedly fizzled for lack of interest.
▪ All the McIlkenny grandchildren are holding candles in support of the vigil for their grandfather.
▪ At the weekend they held a silent vigil in Liverpool.
▪ For Hagerman and others in his family, it was the second time they have endured such a vigil.
▪ They will share the vigil for tigers in every bush, and fire in every breath of wind.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Vigil \Vig"il\, n. [OE. vigile, L. vigilia, from vigil awake, watchful, probably akin to E. wake: cf. F. vigile. See Wake, v. i., and cf. Reveille, Surveillance, Vedette, Vegetable, Vigor.]

  1. Abstinence from sleep, whether at a time when sleep is customary or not; the act of keeping awake, or the state of being awake, or the state of being awake; sleeplessness; wakefulness; watch. ``Worn out by the labors and vigils of many months.''

    Nothing wears out a fine face like the vigils of the card table and those cutting passions which attend them.

  2. Hence, devotional watching; waking for prayer, or other religious exercises.

    So they in heaven their odes and vigils tuned.

    Be sober and keep vigil, The Judge is at the gate.
    --Neale (Rhythm of St. Bernard).

  3. (Eccl.)

    1. Originally, the watch kept on the night before a feast.

    2. Later, the day and the night preceding a feast.

      He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors, And say, ``To-morrow is St. Crispian.''

    3. A religious service performed in the evening preceding a feast.

      Vigils of flowers or Watchings of flowers (Bot.), a peculiar faculty belonging to the flowers of certain plants of opening and closing their petals at certain hours of the day. [R.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, "eve of a religious festival" (an occasion for devotional watching or observance), from Anglo-French and Old French vigile "watch, guard; eve of a holy day" (12c.), from Latin vigilia "a watch, watchfulness," from vigil "watchful, awake, on the watch, alert," from PIE root *weg- (2) "be lively or active, be strong" (cognates: Old English wacan "to wake up, arise," wacian "to be awake;" Old High German wahta "watch, vigil;" see wake (v.)). Meaning "watch kept on a festival eve" in English is from late 14c.; general sense of "occasion of keeping awake for some purpose" is recorded from 1711.


n. 1 An instance of keeping awake during normal sleeping hours, especially to keep watch or pray. 2 A period of observation or surveillance at any hour. 3 The eve of a religious festival in which staying awake is part of the ritual devotions. 4 A quiet demonstration in support of a cause.

  1. n. a period of sleeplessness

  2. a devotional watch (especially on the eve of a religious festival) [syn: watch]

  3. a purposeful surveillance to guard or observe [syn: watch]


A vigil, from the Latinvigilia meaning wakefulness ( Greek: pannychis, or agrypnia ), is a period of purposeful sleeplessness, an occasion for devotional watching, or an observance. The Italian word vigilia has become generalized in this sense and means "eve" (as in on the eve of the war).

Vigil (band)

Vigil was a 1980s alternative rock band based out of Baltimore, Maryland.

Vigil (disambiguation)

Vigil may refer to:

  • Vigil, a period of sleeplessness or watchfulness.
  • Vigils, night prayers in ancient Christianity.
  • Candlelight vigil, a method of remembrance, especially following a tragedy.
  • Vigil (horse), an American Thoroughbred racehorse
  • one of the Vigiles, an ancient Roman firefighter and nightwatchman
Vigil (album)

Vigil is a studio album by Australian rock band The Easybeats, released in May 1968. This would be the second and final album by the band released on the United Artists Records label.

Vigil (film)

Vigil is a 1984 New Zealand drama film directed by Vincent Ward. It was the first New Zealand film invited to play in the competitive section of the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.

The film was nominated for awarded three awards at New Zealand's GOFTA Awards in 1986: Best Cinematography ( Alun Bollinger), Best Original Screenplay ( Vincent Ward), and Best Production Design (Kai Hawkins).

Vigil (horse)
For the 1923 Preakness Stakes winner of the same name, see Vigil II

Vigil (foaled 1873) was an American Champion Thoroughbred racehorse.

Vigil (surname)

Vigil (Vee-HILL) is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Constancio C. Vigil (1876–1954), Uruguayan-Argentine writer and prominent publisher
  • Olga Vigil (born 1970), Cuban basketball player
  • Robert Vigil (born 1953), American state treasurer
  • Sergio Vigil (born 1965), Argentine field hockey player and coach
  • Tim Vigil, American comics artist

Usage examples of "vigil".

I shall tell thee the boon that I would ask of thee and thy generosity has granted me, and it is that on the morrow thou wilt dub me a knight, and that this night in the chapel of thy castle I shall keep vigil over my armor, and on the morrow, as I have said, what I fervently desire will be accomplished so that I can, as I needs must do, travel the four corners of the earth in search of adventures on behalf of those in need, this being the office of chivalry and of knights errant, for I am one of them and my desire is disposed to such deeds.

I caret caret Hffcaret For three days Alec and Seregil kept their cold vigil and at last their patience was rewarded.

Yet he felt all a murderer as he gazed at the ten small carcasses laid out arow, and the memory of his vigil and its end, indeed of the whole day, though it was the day of his most marvelous adventure, remains to him as the broken recollections of a phantasmagoria.

Jimmy had just resigned himself, after another glance at the shelf, to a bookless vigil, when his eye was caught by a name on the cover of the last in the row so unexpected that he had to look again to verify the discovery.

Anyway, after a while, during that sun-bleached, snowblind vigil of booze and lies and pornography, the girls tended to mangle and dismember in my mind.

The pollen sacs of the nettles were ripe, and every now and then the vigil would be enlivened by the dehiscence of these, the bursting of the sacs sounding exactly like the crack of a pistol, and the pollen grains as big as buckshot pattered all about them.

No sound was to be heard in the little cottage except the ticking of the wheezy clock, as Dyce kept her solitary vigil by the side of the man she loved.

I have tried to keep a sharp vigil against the muddling results of an essentialist sexuality.

A shower of large, bound ledgers fell onto Fand as the brown vigil hurled her against the bookcase.

Parz had been joined in his silent vigil beneath Virtuals of the stationary Jovian icosahedron by an unseen congregation of millions.

He prayed for the recovery of that inward privacy which the purpose of his vigil demanded that he seek: a clean parchment of the spirit whereon the words of a summons might be written in his solitudeif that other Immensurable Loneliness which was God stretched forth Its hand to touch his own tiny human loneliness and to mark his vocation there.

Master Polydore Vigil, and his wife, Dame Dreamsweet, and old Mat Pyepowders and his preposterous, chattering dame, and the Peregrine Laquers and the Goceline Flacks and the Hyacinth Baldbreeches -- in fact, all the cream of the society of Lud-in-the-Mist, and each of them labelled with his or her appropriate joke.

The shadows in the courtyard lengthened, but the guard below the balcony did not relax his vigil.

Mademoiselle Linders had gained her present position not less by her superior birth and education, than by that to which she would more willingly have attributed her elevation--a certain asceticism of life which she affected, an extra observance of fasts and vigils, which the good nuns looked upon with reverence, without caring to emulate such peculiar sanctity in their own persons.

Wellington Mape had taken his departure, Lem turned again to his vigil at the car window.