vigi-, vig-

(Latin: watchful, wakeful, alert)

electronic article surveillance, EAS (s) (noun); electronic article surveillances (pl)
Simple electronic tags that can be turned on or off to indicate check-out or check-in status of products: When an item is purchased (or borrowed from a library), the electronic article surveillance is turned off.

When someone passes a gate, or door, of a place holding an item with an electronic article surveillance that hasn't been turned off, an alarm sounds.

electronic surveillance (s) (noun), electronic surveillances (pl)
The gathering of information by the surreptitious (secret) use of electronic devices; such as, cameras placed in train stations or in banks, etc. in order to record criminal activities or espionage: More cities around the world are using electronic surveillances in order to gather evidence of a crime or to accumulate intelligence about suspected criminal activities.

Corporations use electronic surveillance to maintain the security of their buildings and grounds.

Electronic surveillance permeates almost every aspect of life in the United States; for example, in the public sector, the president, Congress, judiciary, military, and law enforcement all use some form of this technology.

In the private sector, business competitors, convenience stores, shopping centers, apartment buildings, parking facilities, hospitals, banks, employers, and even spouses have utilized various methods of electronic surveillances.

    Electronic eavesdropping or electronic surveillances have several objectives:

  • Improvement of security for people and property.
  • Detection or prevention of criminal, wrongful, or illegal activities.
  • The interception, protection, or the obtaining of valuable, useful, scandalous, or embarrassing information about a person or numerous people.
Estot vigilans. (Latin motto)
Translation: "Be vigilant."
invigilate (verb), invigilates; invigilated; invigilating
1. To keep watch, to supervise, or to monitor: Grandmother sat on the front steps and invigilated her grandchildren, Timmy and Sally, as they played in the yard.
2. Primarily British, to keep watch over students during a period of testing in order to prevent cheating: Mr. Stern was invigilating his class while they were taking their final exams.
3. Etymology: a descendant of the Latin verb vigilare, meaning "to stay awake".

The Latin vigilare is the ancestor of English vigilant, "watchful", and it also gives English reveille, "a signal to wake up in the morning"; via French réveiller; as well as, surveillance, "close watch, supervision", from French surveiller.

To carefully watch.
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To watch diligently.
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invigilation (s) (noun), invigilations (pl)
1. A procedure for presiding over academic examination candidates to prevent cheating; used primarily as a British term: All of the classes in the school were being administered with invigilations to make sure that the test results would be valid.
2. The act of surveying or being alert: All military bases have 24-hour invigilations to secure the safety of everyone who is working or living in those establishments.
reveille (s) (noun), reveilles (pl)
1. A military signal on a drum or a bugle at sunrise: The reveille is used to alert army members to wake up and get ready for their martial activities.
2. Etymology: From French reveillez, "wake up"; from Middle French reveiller, "to awake, to rouse", from re- and eveiller, from Old French esveillier, from Vulgar Latin exvigilare, from ex-, "upward" and Latin vigilare, "to watch".
surveil (suhr VAIL) (verb), surveils; surveilled; surveilling
Closely observing someone; especially, a suspected criminal or a spy: Monroe didn't know it, but he was being surveilled by a government intelligence agency because he was thought to be involved in exporting arms to a foreign rebel group.

Although the following cartoon is for a noun, it still illustrates the meaning of this verb entry.

Being spied upon.
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surveillance (s) (noun), surveillances (pl)
1. A constant observation of a person, or a group; especially, anyone who is suspected of doing something illegal or thought to be a potential miscreant: There are now several U.S. government agencies that provide surveillances of suspected terrorists.
2. The act of keeping a careful eye someone or something in order to detect or to prevent any kind of felonious act or to provide evidence of such actions: The surveillances provided by the bank's video cameras helped to identify the bank robbers.

Electronic surveillances are being utilized by more cities around the world in order to apprehend lawbreakers who are involved in illegal activities.

3. Etymology: from French surveillance, "oversight, supervision, a watch"; a noun of action from surveiller, "oversee, watch"; from sur-, "over" + veiller, "to watch" from Latin vigilare, from vigil, "watchful, awake, wakeful".
Closely watched.
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Being continually observed.
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Constant watching someone.
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surveillant (s) (noun), surveillants (pl)
1. A close observation; especially, of a suspected spy or transgressor: Although he was not aware of it, the criminal investigators had a surveillant on the man because there was an indication that he might be up to some kind of dangerous activity.
2. Etymology: from Latin sur, "over" + veiller, "watch" or vigilare, "to keep watch".
vigil (s) (noun), vigils (pl)
1. A period spent in doing something through the night or during a time when someone is staying awake: Mark was guarding his family from possible attacks by bears by holding a vigil when they were up in the mountains during their vacation.
2. A night-time period of staying awake to look after a sick person, to pray, etc.: As Tim's father lay in a coma, his family kept a vigil and prayed that he would recover.

Some religious vigils include prayers that take place on the eve of special holy days.

vigilance (s) (noun), vigilances (pl)
1. A condition, or a process, of paying close and continuous attention by being observant, very careful, and alert to notice things; especially, of something that might be dangerous: The police arrested thirteen men as vigilance increased before the Olympic Games started.
2. Etymology: from Latin vigilantia, from vigilare, "to keep awake".
vigilant (adjective), more vigilant, most vigilant
1. To be attentive and alert, especially to guard against danger, difficulties, or errors: Tourists were warned to be extra vigilant when traveling in the city; particularly at night.
2. Being careful and noticing problems or signs of unacceptable behavior: The vigilant employees of the store were always watching for customers who might commit thievery.
Wary and watchful.
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vigilante (vij" uh LAHN tee) (s) (noun), vigilantes (pl)
1. A self-appointed group of people who try to prevent crime and disorder in a community where law enforcement is nonexistent, imperfect, or has broken down: When the robber shot and killed the woman who was working in the bank, hunters, who were nearby, became vigilantes and demanded that the killer put down his weapon and surrender and when he started to shoot at them, they returned fire and he died of the wounds inflicted on him.

In the past, some vigilantes went too far and executed some suspects without any valid proof of their guilt.

2. Etymology: from Spanish, "watchman, vigilante"; from Latin vigilans, vigilant-; present participle of vigilare, "to be watchful"; from vigil, "watchful".
vigilantly (adverb), more vigilantly, most vigilantly
A reference to be prepared and mindful for possible hazards or predicaments: When Abel's family went to bed each night where they were camping, they vigilantly made sure the doors of their cabin were locked.

When traveling in the town, tourists were warned to be vigilantly careful about getting back to their hotels before it got dark.