Pronunciation: (vij'ul),[key] —n. 1. wakefulness maintained for any reason during the normal hours for sleeping.
2. a watch or a period of watchful attention maintained at night or at other times: The nurse kept her vigil at the bedside of the dying man. 3. a period of wakefulness from inability to sleep.
4. Eccles. a. a devotional watching, or keeping awake, during the customary hours of sleep.
b. Sometimes, vigils. a nocturnal devotional exercise or service, esp. on the eve before a church festival.
c. the eve, or day and night, before a church festival, esp. an eve that is a fast.