- an act or instance of waking up.
- an act or instance of being awakened: I asked the hotel desk for a wake-up at 6.
- a time of awaking or being awakened: I'll need a 5 o'clock wake-up to make the early plane.
- serving to wake one from sleep: Tell the front desk you want a wake-up call.
- serving to arouse or alert: a wake-up call on the problems of pollution.
Origin of wake-up
- a telephone call that wakes a person from sleep
- an event that alerts people to a danger or difficulty
- Australian informal an alert or intelligent person
- be a wake-up to Australian informal to be fully alert to (a person, thing, action, etc)
Idioms and Phrases with wake-up call
A portentous event, report, or situation that brings an issue to immediate attention. For example, The rise in unemployment has given a wake-up call to state governments, or The success of the online subscription is a wake-up call to publishers. This metaphoric term originated in the second half of the 1900s for a telephone call arranged in advance to awaken a sleeper, especially in a hotel. Its figurative use dates from about 1990.