unable to sleep; not sleeping; indisposed to sleep: Excitement made the children wakeful.
characterized by absence of sleep: a wakeful night.
watchful; alert; vigilant: a wakeful foe.

Origin of wakeful

First recorded in 1540–50; wake1 + -ful
Related formswake·ful·ly, adverbwake·ful·ness, nounun·wake·ful, adjectiveun·wake·ful·ly, adverbun·wake·ful·ness, noun

Synonyms for wakeful

Antonyms for wakeful

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

Examples from the Web for wakeful

Historical Examples of wakeful

  • He fell asleep, after a long, wakeful night, and did not hear the maid who called him.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • The commandant passed a wakeful night and arrived early at his office.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • That, too, he had been considering during the wakeful hours of that summer night.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Twould be the worse for me (said he) an he caught me wakeful when he turned in.

  • Wakeful birds deceived by the moon piped softly and were silent.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

British Dictionary definitions for wakeful



unable or unwilling to sleep
Derived Formswakefully, adverbwakefulness, noun
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