[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. awacs,
  2. await,
  3. awaji,
  4. awake,
  5. awaken,
  6. award,
  7. award wage,
  8. awardee,
  9. aware,
  10. awareness

Origin of awakening

First recorded in 1585–95; awaken + -ing2, -ing1

Related formsa·wak·en·ing·ly, adverbre·a·wak·en·ing, nounun·a·wak·en·ing, adjective


[ 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 formsa·wak·en·a·ble, adjectivea·wak·en·er, nounre·a·wak·en, verbwell-a·wak·ened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for awakening

British Dictionary definitions for awakening


/ (əˈweɪkənɪŋ, əˈweɪknɪŋ) /


the start of a feeling or awareness in a persona 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

Word Origin and History for awakening



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