[ weyk-fuhl ]
See synonyms for: wakefulwakefulness on Thesaurus.com

  1. unable to sleep; not sleeping; indisposed to sleep: Excitement made the children wakeful.

  2. characterized by absence of sleep: a wakeful night.

  1. watchful; alert; vigilant: a wakeful foe.

Origin of wakeful

First recorded in 1540–50; wake1 + -ful

Other words for wakeful

Opposites for wakeful

Other words from wakeful

  • wake·ful·ly, adverb
  • wake·ful·ness, noun
  • un·wake·ful, adjective
  • un·wake·ful·ly, adverb
  • un·wake·ful·ness, noun

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

How to use wakeful in a sentence

  • Sara Lee roused her to half wakefulness, no interest and extremely poor English.

    The Amazing Interlude | Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Then she heard a little restless bird chirp out its wakefulness from a nest in the ivy round the walls of the house.

    Ruth | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • It was long before he fell asleep; but when he did, the sleep was more terrible than the haunted wakefulness.

    Eric, or Little by Little | Frederic W. Farrar
  • He picked her up and fanned and patted her into wakefulness again and then turned desperately to the window and looked down.

    Gallegher and Other Stories | Richard Harding Davis
  • Vienna is a place for enjoyment rather than for work, for pensive dreaming rather than for sober wakefulness of mind.

British Dictionary definitions for wakeful


/ (ˈweɪkfʊl) /

  1. unable or unwilling to sleep

  2. sleepless

  1. alert

Derived forms of wakeful

  • wakefully, adverb
  • wakefulness, 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