wakefulness maintained for any reason during the normal hours for sleeping.
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.
a period of wakefulness from inability to sleep.
a devotional watching, or keeping awake, during the customary hours of sleep.
Sometimes, vigils. a nocturnal devotional exercise or service, especially on the eve before a church festival.
the eve, or day and night, before a church festival, especially an eve that is a fast.

1200–50; Middle English vigil(i)e < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin vigilia eve of a holy day, special use of Latin vigilia watchfulness, equivalent to vigil sentry + -ia -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vigil (ˈvɪdʒɪl)
1.  a purposeful watch maintained, esp at night, to guard, observe, pray, etc
2.  the period of such a watch
3.  RC Church, Church of England the eve of certain major festivals, formerly observed as a night spent in prayer: often marked by fasting and abstinence and a special Mass and divine office
4.  a period of sleeplessness; insomnia
[C13: from Old French vigile, from Medieval Latin vigilia watch preceding a religious festival, from Latin: vigilance, from vigil alert, from vigēre to be lively]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "eve of a religious festival" (an occasion for devotional watching or observance), from Anglo-Fr. and O.Fr. vigile, from L. vigilia "watch, watchfulness," from vigil "watchful, awake," from PIE *wog-/*weg- "be lively or active, be strong" (cf. L. vigere "be lively, thrive," velox "fast, lively,"
vegere "to enliven;" Skt. vaja- "strength, speed;" O.E. wacan "to wake up, arise," wacian "to be awake;" O.H.G. wahta "watch, vigil"). Meaning "watch kept on a festival eve" is from late 14c.; that of "occasion of keeping awake for some purpose" is recorded from 1711.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The page contains detailed information about community vigils, links to news
  reports and words of support and remembrance.
Thousands have joined torchlight vigils in her memory.
After repeated press reports and non-stop candle-lit vigils, a sixth decided to
  follow suit.
None of the other vigils attracted more than a few hundred people.
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