Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Ecclesiastical The sixth of the seven canonical hours.
  • n.pl. Ecclesiastical A worship service held in the late afternoon or evening in many Western Christian churches.
  • n.pl. Ecclesiastical The time of day appointed for this service.
  • n.pl. Evensong.
  • n.pl. Roman Catholic Church A service held on Sundays or holy days that includes the office of vespers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The sixth of the seven canonical hours

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. One of the little hours of the Breviary.
  • n.pl. The evening song or service.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the sixth of the seven canonical hours of the divine office; early evening; now often made a public service on Sundays

Etymologies

Obsolete French vespres, from Old French, from Medieval Latin vesperās, evening service, from Latin, accusative pl. of vespera, evening, variant of vesper; see vesper.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Without warning or presage the still evening air was smitten and made softly musical by the pealing of a distant chime, calling vespers to its brothers in Antwerp's hundred belfries; and one by one, far and near, the responses broke out, until it seemed as if the world must be vibrant with silver and brazen melody; until at the last the great bells in the

    The Black Bag

  • Half an hour after supper was read a brief evening service called vespers, and then the boys 'study hours commenced.

    Hector's Inheritance, Or, the Boys of Smith Institute

  • After vespers, that is to say half-past seven in the evening, the police regulations prohibit any woman from appearing in the streets dressed in the saya.

    Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests

  • a vain spectacle, to ceremonies: going to mass, the sermon and vespers, which is all very well; but confession, the communion, fasting, doing without meat, is not common anywhere ....

    The Modern Regime, Volume 1

  • Neckar breeze, laid down his awl and went to "vespers," -- a "maas" of cool beer and a "pretzel."

    Doctor Claudius, A True Story

  • I’m going to something called vespers at five-fifteen and then meeting Father Samuel for dinner.

    Still Waters

  • These "vespers," said the spokesman, usher in the start of "the Newman event."

    EWTNews - 7/29/2010

  • Also, we are given only the "vespers" portion of the Rachmaninoff

    Audiophile Audition Headlines

  • 'vespers' for the benefit of some twenty hearers, mostly women in black.

    The History of David Grieve

  • Among the community of iPhone developers it is a reasonably safe bet that not too many of them wear wimples and sing vespers on a regular basis, which makes Sister Catherine Wybourne who tweets as @Digitalnun, Benedictine nun, HTML coder and now iPhone developer, something of special case.

    How Many iPhone Developers Wear Wimples?

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