Etymology
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vigil (n.)

c. 1200, "eve of a religious festival" (an occasion for devotional watching or observance), from Anglo-French and Old French vigile "watch, guard; eve of a holy day" (12c.), from Latin vigilia "a watch, watchfulness," from vigil "watchful, awake, on the watch, alert," from PIE root *weg- "to be strong, be lively." Meaning "watch kept on a festival eve" in English is from late 14c.; general sense of "occasion of keeping awake for some purpose" is recorded from 1711.

updated on June 03, 2017

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Definitions of vigil from WordNet

vigil (n.)
a period of sleeplessness;
vigil (n.)
the rite of staying awake for devotional purposes (especially on the eve of a religious festival);
Synonyms: watch
vigil (n.)
a purposeful surveillance to guard or observe;
Synonyms: watch
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.