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vesper

[ves-per] /ˈvɛs pər/
noun
1.
(initial capital letter) the evening star, especially Venus; Hesper.
2.
Also called vesper bell. a bell rung at evening.
3.
vespers, (sometimes initial capital letter) Ecclesiastical.
  1. a religious service in the late afternoon or the evening.
  2. the sixth of the seven canonical hours, or the service for it, occurring in the late afternoon or the evening.
  3. Roman Catholic Church. a part of the office to be said in the evening by those in major orders, frequently made a public ceremony in the afternoons or evenings of Sundays and holy days.
  4. evensong.
4.
Archaic. evening.
adjective
5.
of, pertaining to, appearing in, or proper to the evening.
6.
of or relating to vespers.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English, partly < Latin: evening, evening star; partly < Old French vespres evening service < Medieval Latin vesperās, accusative plural of Latin vespera, feminine variant of vesper; cognate with Greek hésperos; akin to west
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for vesper

vesper

/ˈvɛspə/
noun
1.
an evening prayer, service, or hymn
2.
an archaic word for evening
3.
(modifier) of or relating to vespers
See also vespers
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: evening, the evening star; compare Greek hesperos evening; see west

Vesper

/ˈvɛspə/
noun
1.
the planet Venus, when appearing as the evening star
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for vesper
n.

late 14c., "the evening star," from Old French vespre, from Latin vesper (masc.), vespera (fem.) "evening star, evening, west," related to Greek hesperos, and ultimately from PIE *wespero- (cf. Old Church Slavonic večeru, Lithuanian vakaras, Welsh ucher, Old Irish fescor "evening"), from root *we- "down" (cf. Sanskrit avah "down, downward"). Meaning "evening" is attested from c.1600.

Vespers "sixth canonical hour" is attested from 1610s, from plural of Latin vespera "evening;" the native name was evensong (Old English æfen-sang).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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