What does vigil mean?

Definitions for vigil
ˈvɪdʒ əlvig·il

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word vigil.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. vigilnoun

    a period of sleeplessness

  2. vigil, watchnoun

    the rite of staying awake for devotional purposes (especially on the eve of a religious festival)

  3. watch, vigilnoun

    a purposeful surveillance to guard or observe


  1. vigilnoun

    a watch kept during normal sleeping hours, especially over the body of a recently deceased or dying person

  2. vigilnoun

    a period of observation or surveillance

  3. vigilnoun

    the eve of some religious festival in which staying awake is part of the ritual devotions

  4. Etymology: vigile, from vigile, from vigilia, from vigil, from weg-.


  1. Vigil

    A vigil, from the Latin vigilia meaning wakefulness (Greek: pannychis, παννυχίς or agrypnia ἀγρυπνία), 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).


  1. vigil

    A vigil is a period of keeping awake, usually during the night, to observe, pray, remain alert, or to mourn, particularly preceding a significant event or following a death. It can also refer to any period of watchful attention or observance on any occasion.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Vigilverb

    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

  2. Vigilverb

    hence, devotional watching; waking for prayer, or other religious exercises

  3. Vigilverb

    originally, the watch kept on the night before a feast

  4. Vigilverb

    later, the day and the night preceding a feast

  5. Vigilverb

    a religious service performed in the evening preceding a feast

  6. Etymology: [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. Vigil

    A vigil, from the Latin vigilia meaning wakefulness, 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".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Vigil

    vij′il, n. watching: keeping awake for religious exercises: the eve before a feast or fast day, originally kept by watching through the night.—n. Vig′ilance, wakefulness: watchfulness: circumspection: (obs.) a guard, watch.—adj. Vig′ilant, watchful: on the lookout for danger: circumspect.—n. Vigilan′te, a member of a vigilance committee.—adv. Vig′ilantly.—Vigilance committee (U.S.), an unauthorised body which, in the absence or inefficiency of regular courts, exercises legal powers of arrest, punishment, &c. in cases of gross crime: also any self-appointed association for the compulsory improvement of local morals. [Fr.,—L. vigiliavigil, awake, watchful—vigēre, to be lively.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. VIGIL

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Vigil is ranked #1205 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Vigil surname appeared 29,382 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 10 would have the surname Vigil.

    82% or 24,120 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    13.8% or 4,072 total occurrences were White.
    2.7% or 805 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 173 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.3% or 109 total occurrences were Black.
    0.3% or 100 total occurrences were Asian.

How to pronounce vigil?

How to say vigil in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of vigil in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of vigil in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of vigil in a Sentence

  1. Al Sharpton:

    Is a vigil a protest? Is a rally?

  2. Bill Chandler:

    We stood vigil outside of the house for about five hours, iCE was trying to persuade Daniela to come out of the house. Of course, she refused. They went and got a search warrant. ... Then they decided to break into the house and confront her.

  3. Bobby Brown:

    We continue to request privacy in this matter, we thank everyone that supported the vigil for Bobbi Kristina. God is hearing our prayers.

  4. Melinda Taylor:

    For the last eight years, the UK has refused to either confirm or deny that they have received an extradition request from the US. At the same time, they have refused to provide assurances that Julian Assange will not be extradited to the US if such a request were to be received, and maintained an ever-present vigil of the Embassy, notwithstanding a UN directive to take steps to ensure Julian's immediate liberty, their silence speaks volumes, particularly in light of recent statements from Melinda Taylor officials that Julian's arrest and extradition are a priority.

  5. Kathryn Hinderaker:

    They held a vigil for the ‘death of America’.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for vigil

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"vigil." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/vigil>.

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