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See also: Vigil



From Middle English vigile (a devotional watching), from Old French vigile, from Latin vigilia (wakefulness, watch), from vigil (awake), from Proto-Indo-European *weǵ- (to be strong, lively, awake). See also wake, from the same root.

Related to vigor, and more distantly compare vis and vital, from similar Proto-Indo-European roots and meanings (lively, power, life), via Latin. For use of “live, alive” in sense “watching”, compare qui vive.


  • IPA(key): /ˈvɪd͡ʒəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪd͡ʒəl


vigil (plural vigils)

  1. An instance of keeping awake during normal sleeping hours, especially to keep watch or pray.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XII, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume II, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 149:
      I saw her head drooped upon her hand; her whole attitude expressing that profound depression, whose lonely vigil wastes the midnight in a gloomy watch, which yet hopes for nothing at its close.
    • 2016, Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad, Fleet (2017), page 165:
      Eventually the body trade grew so reckless that relatives took to holding graveside vigils, lest their loved ones disappear in the night.
  2. A period of observation or surveillance at any hour.
    His dog kept vigil outside the hospital for eight days while he was recovering from an accident.
  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.
    The protesters kept vigil outside the conference centre in which the party congress was being held.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



From Proto-Indo-European *weǵ- (to be strong, lively, awake), whence vigeō.



vigil (genitive vigilis); third-declension one-termination adjective

  1. awake, watching, alert


Third-declension one-termination adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
Nominative vigil vigilēs vigilia
Genitive vigilis vigilium
Dative vigilī vigilibus
Accusative vigilem vigil vigilēs vigilia
Ablative vigilī vigilibus
Vocative vigil vigilēs vigilia


vigil m (genitive vigilis); third declension

  1. watchman, guard, sentinel; constable, fireman; angel
  2. (in the plural) the watch, police, constabulary


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative vigil vigilēs
Genitive vigilis vigilum
Dative vigilī vigilibus
Accusative vigilem vigilēs
Ablative vigile vigilibus
Vocative vigil vigilēs

Derived terms[edit]


  • French: vigile
  • Irish: feighil
  • Italian: vigile
  • Piedmontese: vìgil
  • Portuguese: vígil
  • Romanian: vigil, veghe


  • vigil”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • vigil”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • vigil in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette