American Dictionary of the English Language

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VIG'IL, noun [Latin vigilia, vigil walking, watchful; vigilo, to watch. This is formed on the root of Eng. wake. The primary sense is to stir or excite, to rouse, to agitate.]

1. Watch; devotion performed in the customary hours of rest or sleep.

So they in heav'n their odes and vigils tun'd.

2. In church affairs, the eve or evening before any feast, the ecclesiastical day beginning at 6:00 in the evening, and continuing till the same hour the following evening; hence, a religious service performed in the evening preceding a holiday.

3. A fast observed on the day preceding a holiday; a wake.

4. Watch; forbearance of sleep; as the vigils of the card table.

Vigils or watchings of flowers, a term used by Linne to express a peculiar faculty belonging to the flowers of certain plants, of opening and closing their petals at certain hours of the day