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

Related Words for wakefulness

vigilance, attention, alertness, insomnia, restlessness

Examples from the Web for wakefulness

Historical Examples of wakefulness

  • Phoebe, heavy-eyed and pale from wakefulness and worry, came then, and called them in to breakfast.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • He wanted to feel himself alone in wakefulness and unobserved.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • Robbie had recovered his wakefulness, and was kneeling at Sim's feet, chafing his hands.

  • Thence the wakefulness, dreams, and pretended apparitions of vampires.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • It is neither sleep, nor is my wakefulness the usual wakefulness.

    The Prodigal Returns

    Lilian Staveley

British Dictionary definitions for wakefulness



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