[uh-wey-kuh n]

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




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.

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

Examples from the Web for reawakening

Contemporary Examples of reawakening

  • But there are signs that the grassroots operation is reawakening in a big way.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Dems' Cash Cow

    Benjamin Sarlin

    April 2, 2010

Historical Examples of reawakening

  • But the new voice was stilled into nothingness by the shrill, reawakening falsetto.


    W. A. Fraser

  • According to this same theory the reawakening of an older impression is an ecphory.


    Henry Stanton

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

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for reawakening



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 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