Definitions for vigilˈvɪdʒ əl
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
wakefulness maintained for any reason during the normal hours for sleeping.
a period of watchful attention.
Sometimes, vigils. a nocturnal devotional exercise or service, esp. on the eve of a church festival. the eve or day and night before a church festival, esp. an eve that is a fast.
Origin of vigil:
1200–50; ME vigil(i)e < ML vigilia eve of a holy day, L: watchfulness =vigil sentry +-ia -y3
a period of sleeplessness
the rite of staying awake for devotional purposes (especially on the eve of a religious festival)
a purposeful surveillance to guard or observe
a watch kept during normal sleeping hours, especially over the body of a recently deceased or dying person
a period of observation or surveillance
the eve of some religious festival in which staying awake is part of the ritual devotions
Origin: vigile, from vigile, from vigilia, from vigil, from weg-.
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
hence, devotional watching; waking for prayer, or other religious exercises
originally, the watch kept on the night before a feast
later, the day and the night preceding a feast
a religious service performed in the evening preceding a feast