wake

1
[ weyk ]
See synonyms for: wakewakedwakingwoken on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object),waked or woke [wohk], /woʊk/, waked or wok·en [woh-kuhn], /ˈwoʊ kən/, wak·ing.
  1. to become roused from sleep; awake; awaken; waken (often followed by up).

  2. to become roused from a tranquil or inactive state; awaken; waken: to wake from one's daydreams.

  1. to become cognizant or aware of something; awaken; waken: to wake to the true situation.

  2. to be or continue to be awake: Whether I wake or sleep, I think of you.

  3. to remain awake for some purpose, duty, etc.:I will wake until you return.

  4. to hold a wake over a corpse.

  5. to keep watch or vigil.

verb (used with object),waked or woke [wohk], /woʊk/, waked or wok·en [woh-kuhn], /ˈwoʊ kən/, wak·ing.
  1. to rouse from sleep; awake; awaken; waken (often followed by up): Don't wake me for breakfast. Wake me up at six o'clock.

  2. to rouse from lethargy, apathy, ignorance, etc. (often followed by up): The tragedy woke us up to the need for safety precautions.

  1. to hold a wake for or over (a dead person).

  2. to keep watch or vigil over.

noun
  1. a watching, or a watch kept, especially for some solemn or ceremonial purpose.

  2. a watch or vigil by the body of a dead person before burial, sometimes accompanied by feasting or merrymaking.

  1. a local annual festival in England, formerly held in honor of the patron saint or on the anniversary of the dedication of a church but now usually having little or no religious significance.

  2. the state of being awake: between sleep and wake.

Origin of wake

1
First recorded before 900; (verb) in sense “to become awake” continuing Middle English waken, Old English wacan ; in sense “to be awake” continuing Middle English waken, Old English wacian (cognate with Old Frisian wakia, Old Saxon wakōn, Old Norse vaka, Gothic wakan ); in sense “to rouse from sleep” continuing Middle English waken, replacing Middle English wecchen, Old English weccan; (noun) Middle English: “state of wakefulness, vigil,” probably continuing unattested Old English wacu (found in nihtwacu “night-watch”); all ultimately from unattested Germanic wak- “be lively”; akin to watch, vegetate;cf. waken

Other words for wake

Opposites for wake

Other words from wake

  • waker, noun
  • half-waking, adjective
  • un·waked, adjective
  • un·wak·ing, adjective

Other definitions for wake (2 of 2)

wake2
[ weyk ]

noun
  1. the track of waves left by a ship or other object moving through the water: The wake of the boat glowed in the darkness.

  2. the path or course of anything that has passed or preceded: The tornado left ruin in its wake.

Origin of wake

2
First recorded in 1540–50; from Middle Low German, Dutch wake, or Old Norse vǫk, vaka “opening or hole in the ice”

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

How to use wake in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wake (1 of 2)

wake1

/ (weɪk) /


verbwakes, waking, woke or woken
  1. (often foll by up) to rouse or become roused from sleep

  2. (often foll by up) to rouse or become roused from inactivity

  1. (intr; often foll by to or up to) to become conscious or aware: at last he woke to the situation

  2. (intr) to be or remain awake

  3. (tr) to arouse (feelings etc)

  4. dialect to hold a wake over (a corpse)

  5. archaic, or dialect to keep watch over

  6. wake up and smell the coffee informal to face up to reality, especially in an unpleasant situation

noun
  1. a watch or vigil held over the body of a dead person during the night before burial

  2. (in Ireland) festivities held after a funeral

  1. the patronal or dedication festival of English parish churches

  2. a solemn or ceremonial vigil

  3. (usually plural) an annual holiday in any of various towns in northern England, when the local factory or factories close, usually for a week or two weeks

  4. rare the state of being awake

Origin of wake

1
Old English wacian; related to Old Frisian wakia, Old High German wahtēn

usage For wake

Where there is an object and the sense is the literal one wake (up) and waken are the commonest forms: I wakened him; I woke him (up). Both verbs are also commonly used without an object: I woke up . Awake and awaken are preferred to other forms of wake where the sense is a figurative one: he awoke to the danger

Derived forms of wake

  • waker, noun

British Dictionary definitions for wake (2 of 2)

wake2

/ (weɪk) /


noun
  1. the waves or track left by a vessel or other object moving through water

  2. the track or path left by anything that has passed: wrecked houses in the wake of the hurricane

Origin of wake

2
C16: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse vaka, vök hole cut in ice, Swedish vak, Danish vaage; perhaps related to Old Norse vökr, Middle Dutch wak wet

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

Cultural definitions for wake

wake

A funeral celebration, common in Ireland, at which the participants stay awake all night keeping watch over the body of the dead person before burial. A wake traditionally involves a good deal of feasting and drinking.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with wake

wake

In addition to the idioms beginning with wake

, also see

  • in the wake of
  • to wake the dead

.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.