[ weyk-uhp ]

  1. an act or instance of waking up.

  2. an act or instance of being awakened: I asked the hotel desk for a wake-up at 6.

  1. a time of awaking or being awakened: I'll need a 5 o'clock wake-up to make the early plane.

  1. serving to wake one from sleep: Tell the front desk you want a wake-up call.

  2. serving to arouse or alert: a wake-up call on the problems of pollution.

Origin of wake-up

First recorded in 1835–45; noun, adj. use of verb phrase wake up

Words Nearby wake-up

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use wake-up in a sentence

  • The latter gentleman was wondering whether he had fallen into a dream that he should wake up from in the morning.

    Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Woman—Thou beest a sound sleeper—Wake up, and see to thy bairn, and I will gie thee both a good breakfast.

    The World Before Them | Susanna Moodie
  • "Yes; and I went to sleep almost immediately, and did not wake up till very late next morning," she replied.

    The Doctor of Pimlico | William Le Queux
  • Altogether you see how well it would be if you could do anything to wake up the Post 267 Office.

  • Suddenly I heard a voice, which said, "Wake up," and I felt a hand touch the left side of my head.

    Urania | Camille Flammarion

British Dictionary definitions for wake-up


  1. Australian informal an alert or intelligent person

  2. be a wake-up to Australian informal to be fully alert to (a person, thing, action, etc)

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