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[uh-wey-kuh n]
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to awake; waken.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for re-awaken

Historical Examples

  • No cause came to her with force enough to re-awaken her enthusiasms.

    The Bondwoman

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • Are there any minds in which they do not re-awaken some sorrow, or some trouble?

  • Alas, centuries will pass before they re-awaken from their present stupor.

  • The mighty fist of the dead praefect had mayhap laid the creature low; in any case it were not safe to re-awaken dormant memories.

    "Unto Caesar"

    Baroness Emmuska Orczy

  • It is the glad ministry of His grace to re-awaken silent chords, to restore broken harps, to “put new songs” in our mouths.

Word Origin and History for re-awaken


also reawaken, 1810, from re- + awaken. Related: Reawakened; reawakening.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper