(?), n. [OE. vigile, L. vigilia, from vigil awake, watchful, probably akin to E. wake: cf. F. vigile. See Wake, v. i., and cf. Reveille, Surveillance, Vedette, Vegetable, Vigor.] 1. Abstinence from sleep, whether at a time when sleep is customary or not; the act of keeping awake, or the state of being awake; sleeplessness; wakefulness; watch. "Worn out by the labors and vigils of many months." Macaulay.
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Nothing wears out a fine face like the vigils of the card table and those cutting passions which attend them.
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2. Hence, devotional watching; waking for prayer, or other religious exercises.
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So they in heaven their odes and vigils tuned.
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Be sober and keep vigil,
The Judge is at the gate.
Neale (Rhythm of St. Bernard).
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3. (Eccl.) (a) Originally, the watch kept on the night before a feast. (b) Later, the day and the night preceding a feast.
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He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say, "To-morrow is St. Crispian."
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(c) A religious service performed in the evening preceding a feast.
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Vigils of flowers or Watchings of flowers (Bot.), a peculiar faculty belonging to the flowers of certain plants of opening and closing their petals at certain hours of the day. [R.]
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Fri 30th October 2020