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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 pertaining 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for vespers
  • About one hundred persons will be con firmed and services will commence with solemn vespers at seven o'clock.
  • vespers refers to prayers generally said in the evening, without the eucharist.
British Dictionary definitions for vespers

vespers

/ˈvɛspəz/
noun (functioning as singular or pl)
1.
(mainly RC Church) the sixth of the seven canonical hours of the divine office, originally fixed for the early evening and now often made a public service on Sundays and major feast days
2.
another word for evensong (sense 1)

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 vespers

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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Encyclopedia Article for vespers

evening prayer of thanksgiving and praise in Roman Catholic and certain other Christian liturgy. Vespers and lauds (morning prayer) are the oldest and most important of the traditional liturgy of the hours. Many scholars believe vespers is based on Judaic forms of prayer and point to a daily evening celebration observed among Jews in the first century before Christ.

Learn more about vespers with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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12
14
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