Definition of vigil noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈvɪdʒɪl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈvɪdʒɪl//
[countable, uncountable]
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a period of time when people stay awake, especially at night, in order to watch a sick person, say prayers, protest, etc. His parents kept a round-the-clock vigil at his bedside. Students held a candlelit vigil against the war. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin vigilia, from vigil ‘awake’.Extra examples For three nights, the shepherd maintained his lonely vigil. He told the gatekeeper to keep vigil. His fiancée kept a bedside vigil during his weeks in intensive care. Protesters held a candlelight/​candlelit vigil against the war. Since the accident, the boy’s parents have kept a constant vigil at his bedside. a silent vigil outside the presidential palace a vigil for the murdered politician the husband’s vigil over his dying wife
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: vigil