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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eye-opener

Contemporary Examples of eye-opener

Historical Examples of eye-opener

  • 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.


    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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for eye-opener


noun informal

something startling or revealing
US and 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