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How to pronounce vigil (audio)


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Dictionary definition of vigil

A period of keeping awake during the time usually spent asleep, most often to keep watch, pray, or to make a protest.
"The candlelight vigil was a peaceful and emotional event."

Detailed meaning of vigil

Vigils can be held for religious, spiritual or political reasons and can take place indoors or outdoors. They can be held as a form of mourning, to remember a deceased person, to mark a significant event or as a form of protest. Vigils can be solitary or collective, peaceful or loud, and can involve silence or chanting, singing, or prayers. They are often held in churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious buildings, but can also take place in public spaces such as parks, plazas, or government buildings. Vigils can also be organized for a specific cause, for example, to demand justice for a victim of a crime, to support a political movement or to raise awareness of an issue. The term "vigil" also refers to the period of time just before an event, usually religious, such as the night before a religious festival, or the night before a wedding.

Example sentences containing vigil

1. They maintained a solemn vigil by the bedside of their ailing loved one.
2. The night sky was adorned with stars during their outdoor vigil.
3. The protestors held a peaceful vigil outside the government building.
4. A candlelit vigil was held to honor the victims of the tragedy.
5. She attended the church's midnight vigil to welcome the New Year.
6. The family gathered for a vigil to commemorate their ancestor's birthday.

History and etymology of vigil

The noun 'vigil' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'vigilia,' which is derived from 'vigil,' the present participle of 'vigilare,' meaning 'to watch' or 'to stay awake.' In ancient Rome, 'vigilia' referred to a period of time spent awake during the night, particularly for the purpose of keeping watch, guarding, or performing religious rites. Over time, the term expanded to encompass a broader sense of staying awake, not just for security reasons but also for various other purposes, such as prayer, reflection, or protest. In modern usage, a 'vigil' signifies a period of keeping awake during the time usually spent asleep, often associated with a specific purpose, including solemn observances, commemorations, or demonstrations. The etymology of 'vigil' emphasizes its historical connection to the act of vigilant watchfulness during the night, highlighting its broader contemporary significance in various contexts.

Quiz: Find the meaning of vigil

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Further usage examples of vigil

1. A vigilante group formed to protect the neighborhood from crime.
2. The devoted monk observed a nightly vigil in the monastery.
3. Crowds gathered for a vigil to remember a fallen hero.
4. The community held a candlelight vigil for peace and unity.
5. Protesters maintained a vigil outside the company's headquarters.
6. During the storm, they kept a vigilant watch over their property.
7. The vigil continued until dawn to mark the solstice.
8. A prayer vigil was organized for those affected by the natural disaster.
9. The firefighters kept a vigil at the scene of the forest fire.
10. The vigilante group patrolled the streets to deter criminal activity.
11. She lit a candle during her nightly vigil for world peace.
12. The church bells rang out to signal the start of the evening vigil.
13. In times of uncertainty, people often turn to prayer and vigil.
14. The community held a vigil to show support for a missing child's family.
15. The vigil was held for the victims of the terrorist attack.
16. He kept a vigil at his mother's bedside throughout her illness.
17. She organized a vigil to raise awareness about the issue.
18. The overnight vigil was a time of reflection and mourning.
19. The vigil was attended by people from all over the country.
20. The community held a vigil for the missing child.
21. He kept a vigil for his deceased father.
22. The vigil was a way for people to show their support for the cause.
23. The candlelight vigil was a moving tribute to the victims.
24. The vigil was organized by the family to honor the deceased.
25. The community vigil was held to remember the victims of the tragedy.



watch, disregard, neglect, inattention


ACT 15 (American College Testing), Events and Milestones, Sacred and Profane

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