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[ahy-oh-puh-ner] /ˈaɪˌoʊ pə nər/
an experience or disclosure that gives one a sudden realization or understanding:
Her disclosures about her childhood were a real eyeopener.
a drink of liquor taken early in the day and intended to wake a person up fully.
Origin of eyeopener
An Americanism dating back to 1810-20; eye + opener Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for eye-opener
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And that meeting was in the nature of an eye-opener to Tresler.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • The old girl must be protected from that sort of eye-opener, if I've to forswear my soul.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • This campaign is of course not only an eye-opener to them but also a God-send.

  • Those four days have been a revelation, an eye-opener, and a series of rude jolts.

    Americans All Various
  • I have often thought: If a son could look into a mother's heart, what an eye-opener he would have!

    Mental Efficiency Arnold Bennett
  • To have it thrust upon them sudden is too much of a eye-opener for them.

  • It'll be an eye-opener to the enemy to discover us gone when the flames die down.

    Under the Chinese Dragon F. S. Brereton
British Dictionary definitions for eye-opener


noun (informal)
something startling or revealing
(US & Canadian) an alcoholic drink taken early in the morning
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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Slang definitions & phrases for eye-opener



  1. A drink of liquor taken upon awaking: He fumbled for the jug and slurped an eye-opener (1818+)
  2. An addict's first injection of the day (1960+ Narcotics)
  3. Anything that informs or enlightens one: Listening to that story was a real eye-opener (1863+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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