[wey-kuh n]

verb (used with object)

to rouse from sleep; wake; awake; awaken.
to rouse from inactivity; stir up or excite; arouse; awaken: to waken the reader's interest.

verb (used without object)

to wake, or become awake; awaken.

Origin of waken

before 900; Middle English waknen, Old English wæcnan; cognate with Old Norse vakna; akin to wake1; see -en1
Related formswak·en·er, nounre·wak·en, verbun·wak·ened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for waken

rouse, nudge, prod, stretch, shake, rise, arouse, awake, arise, call, awaken, stir, bestir

Examples from the Web for waken

Historical Examples of waken

  • I am sorry to waken you, Sidney, but I don't know what to do.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • I doze for a little, and when I waken there are people in the room.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Maria had warned her not to waken her grandfather, so she admired it in whispers.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • It seemed to waken all the room into new vibrations of life.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • He went closer to her, trying to waken her passion by the strength of his.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

British Dictionary definitions for waken



to rouse or be roused from sleep or some other inactive state
Derived Formswakener, noun


See wake 1
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 waken

"to become awake," Old English wæcnan, wæcnian "to rise, spring," from the same source as wake (v.). Figurative sense was in Old English. Transitive sense of "to arouse (someone or something) from sleep" is recorded from c.1200. Related: Wakened; wakening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper