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[uh-weyk] /əˈweɪk/
verb (used with or without object), awoke or awaked, awoke or awaked or awoken, awaking.
to wake up; rouse from sleep:
I awoke at six with a feeling of dread.
to rouse to action; become active:
His flagging interest awoke.
to come or bring to an awareness; become cognizant (often followed by to):
She awoke to the realities of life.
waking; not sleeping.
vigilant; alert:
They were awake to the danger.
Origin of awake
before 1000; Middle English awaken, Old English awacen, past participle of awæcnan; see a1, waken
Related forms
awakeable, adjective
half-awake, adjective
reawake, verb, reawoke or reawaked, reawaking.
unawake, adjective
unawakeable, adjective
unawaked, adjective
unawaking, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for half-awake
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • half-awake, he blinked at the ceiling of the control room of the Liberty.

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • This was from George Warren, whose voice denoted that he was only about half-awake.

    The Rival Campers Ruel Perley Smith
  • She was simply quiescent and passive, like a little child only half-awake.

    They Looked and Loved Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller
  • Sometimes I think one must have said it asleep, and another heard it half-awake.

    Lilith George MacDonald
  • Half-asleep and half-awake; she was aware of shadow-shapes which came and went.

    The Tin Soldier

    Temple Bailey
  • Then he hurried after Gascoyne, frowzy, half-dressed, and even yet only half-awake.

    Men of Iron Howard Pyle
  • half-awake, half-asleep, the days on shipboard go by as in a dream, and you gladly welcome back restored health.

    The Harris-Ingram Experiment Charles E. Bolton
  • The mind gets into a half-awake, half-sleepy state, which hinders it from obtaining sound slumber when bedtime comes.

  • And to her half-awake mind it seemed that "Perhaps it is" could only apply to what she had succeeded in writing.

    A Likely Story William De Morgan
British Dictionary definitions for half-awake


not fully awake


verb awakes, awaking, awoke, awaked, awoken, awaked
to emerge or rouse from sleep; wake
to become or cause to become alert
(usually foll by to) to become or make aware (of): to awake to reality
(transitive) Also awaken. to arouse (feelings, etc) or cause to remember (memories, etc)
adjective (postpositive)
not sleeping
(sometimes foll by to) lively or alert
Word Origin
Old English awacian, awacan; see wake1
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 half-awake



a merger of two Middle English verbs: 1. awaken, from Old English awæcnan (earlier onwæcnan; strong, past tense awoc, past participle awacen) "to awake, arise, originate," from a "on" + wacan "to arise, become awake" (see wake (v.)); and 2. awakien, from Old English awacian (weak, past participle awacode) "to awaken, revive; arise; originate, spring from," from a "on" (see a (2)) + wacian "to be awake, remain awake, watch" (see watch (v.)).

Both originally were intransitive only; the transitive sense being expressed by Middle English awecchen (from Old English aweccan) until later Middle English. In Modern English, the tendency has been to restrict the strong past tense and past participle (awoke, awoken) to the original intransitive sense and the weak inflection (awakened) to the transitive, but this never has been complete (see wake (v.); also cf. awaken).



"not asleep," c.1300, shortened from awaken, past participle of Old English awæcnan (see awaken).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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