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[vij-uh-luh nt] /ˈvɪdʒ ə lənt/
keenly watchful to detect danger; wary:
a vigilant sentry.
ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful.
Origin of vigilant
1470-80; < Latin vigilant- (stem of vigilāns), present participle of vigilāre to be watchful. See vigil, -ant
Related forms
vigilantly, adverb
vigilantness, noun
hypervigilant, adjective
hypervigilantly, adverb
hypervigilantness, noun
nonvigilant, adjective
nonvigilantly, adverb
nonvigilantness, noun
previgilant, adjective
previgilantly, adverb
supervigilant, adjective
supervigilantly, adverb
unvigilant, adjective
unvigilantly, adverb
Can be confused
vigilant, vigilante.
2. wide-awake, sleepless. See alert.
1. careless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vigilant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Do not leave it a moment: it requires the most vigilant attendance.

  • They were his bodyguard, his satellites, his vigilant escort.

    The Blonde Lady Maurice Leblanc
  • The respect passed almost unnoticed; the criticism gave a handle to a group of vigilant foes.

    Fray Luis de Len James Fitzmaurice-Kelly
  • Fearless, untiring and vigilant, he suppressed every disorder as it arose.

  • Individualists clamour for a large and vigilant police force.

    Art Clive Bell
British Dictionary definitions for vigilant


keenly alert to or heedful of trouble or danger, as while others are sleeping or unsuspicious
Derived Forms
vigilantly, adverb
vigilantness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin vigilāns keeping awake, from vigilāre to be watchful; see vigil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vigilant

late 15c., from Latin vigilantia "wakefulness," from vigilia (see vigil). Related: Vigilantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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