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[uh-wey-kuh n] /əˈweɪ kən/
verb (used with or without object)
to awake; waken.
Origin of awaken
before 900; Middle English awak(e)nen, Old English awæcnian earlier onwæcnian. See a-1, waken
Related forms
awakenable, adjective
awakener, noun
reawaken, verb
well-awakened, adjective


[uh-wey-kuh-ning] /əˈweɪ kə nɪŋ/
rousing; quickening:
an awakening interest in ballet.
the act of awaking from sleep.
a revival of interest or attention.
a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something:
a rude awakening to the disagreeable facts.
a renewal of interest in religion, especially in a community; a revival.
First recorded in 1585-95; awaken + -ing2, -ing1
Related forms
awakeningly, adverb
reawakening, noun
unawakening, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reawakening
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the new voice was stilled into nothingness by the shrill, reawakening falsetto.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • According to this same theory the reawakening of an older impression is an ecphory.

    Sex Henry Stanton
  • Nor was the reawakening of the community by any means confined to the boys and girls.

    The Duke of Stockbridge Edward Bellamy
  • I have seen signs of the reawakening of greed, of selfishness.

    Armageddon--2419 A.D. Philip Francis Nowlan
  • Before this, however, there were symptoms of the reawakening of a dormant idea.

    The Pictorial Press Mason Jackson
  • He had rattled on and on with the hope of reawakening her enthusiasm first, then her sympathy, then—but no!

    The Shadow of a Man E. W. Hornung
  • It is as if some of the original impulse to make music were reawakening.

    Musical Portraits Paul Rosenfeld
  • The imagination of the detective found a way of reawakening the interest.

  • The reawakening of his old life in him was strange and slow.

    The History of David Grieve Mrs. Humphry Ward
British Dictionary definitions for reawakening


/əˈweɪkənɪŋ; əˈweɪknɪŋ/
the start of a feeling or awareness in a person: a picture of an emotional awakening
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 reawakening



Old English awæcnan (intransitive), "to spring into being, arise, originate," also, less often, "to wake up;" earlier onwæcnan, from a- (1) "on" + wæcnan (see waken). Transitive meaning "to rouse from sleep" is recorded from 1510s; figurative sense of "to stir up, rouse to activity" is from c.1600.

Originally strong declension (past tense awoc, past participle awacen), already in Old English it was confused with awake (v.) and a weak past tense awæcnede (modern awakened) emerged and has since become the accepted form, with awoke and awoken transferred to awake. Subtle shades of distinction determine the use of awake or awaken in modern English. Related: Awakening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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