- The definition of a vigil is a quiet gathering, usually during normal sleeping hours.
An example of a vigil is a candlelight service for someone who died.
vigil definition by Webster's New World
- a purposeful or watchful staying awake during the usual hours of sleep
- a watch kept, or the period of this
- Eccles. the evening or day before a festival, or the devotional services held then
Origin: Middle English vigile ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin vigilia, a watch ; from vigil, awake ; from vegere, to arouse: see wake
vigil definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. A watch kept during normal sleeping hours.b. The act or a period of observing; surveillance.
- The eve of a religious festival observed by staying awake as a devotional exercise.
- Ritual devotions observed on the eve of a holy day. Often used in the plural.
Origin: Middle English vigile, a devotional watching, from Old French, from Latin vigilia, wakefulness, watch, from vigil, awake; see weg- in Indo-European roots.