Definitions

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

  • adj. On the alert; watchful. See Synonyms at aware.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Watchful, especially for danger or disorder; alert; wary

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Attentive to discover and avoid danger, or to provide for safety; wakeful; watchful; circumspect; wary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Watchful, as one who watches during the hours for sleep; ever awake and on the alert; attentive to discover and avoid danger, or to provide for safety; circumspect; cautious; wary.
  • Indicating vigilance.
  • Synonyms 1. Wakeful, etc. See watchful.

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

  • adj. carefully observant or attentive; on the lookout for possible danger

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin vigilāns, vigilant-, present participle of vigilāre, to be watchful; see vigilante.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French vigilant or its source, Latin vigilans, present participle of vigilare ("stay awake"), from vigil ("awake"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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