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verb \ˈwāk\

Simple Definition of wake

  • : to cause (a person or animal) to be awake after sleeping

  • : to stop sleeping : to become awake after sleeping

Full Definition of wake

woke play \ˈwōk\ also waked play \wākt\ wo·ken play \ˈwō-kən\ or waked also wokewak·ing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to be or remain awake b archaic :  to remain awake on watch especially over a corpse c obsolete :  to stay up late in revelry

  3. 2 :  awake —often used with up

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 :  to stand watch over (as a dead body); especially :  to hold a wake over

  6. 2 a :  to rouse from or as if from sleep :  awake —often used with up b :  stir, excite <woke up latent possibilities — Norman Douglas> c :  to arouse conscious interest in :  alert —usually used with to <woke the public to the risks>

wak·er noun

Examples of wake

  1. She can never remember her dreams upon waking.

  2. <my banging around in the kitchen woke my wife>

Origin of wake

partly from Middle English waken (past wook, past participle waken), from Old English wacan to awake (past wōc, past participle wacen); partly from Middle English wakien, waken (past & past participle waked), from Old English wacian to be awake (past wacode, past participle wacod); akin to Old English wæccan to watch, Latin vegēre to enliven

First Known Use: before 12th century




Definition of wake

  1. 1 :  the state of being awake

  2. 2 a (1) :  an annual English parish festival formerly held in commemoration of the church's patron saint (2) :  vigil 1a b :  the festivities originally connected with the wake of an English parish church —usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction c British :  an annual holiday or vacation —usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction

  3. 3 :  a watch held over the body of a dead person prior to burial and sometimes accompanied by festivity

13th Century

First Known Use of wake

13th century




Definition of wake

  1. 1 :  the track left by a moving body (as a ship) in a fluid (as water); broadly :  a track or path left

  2. 2 :  aftermath 3

in the wake of
  1. 1 :  close behind and in the same path of travel <missionaries arrived in the wake of conquistadors and soldiers — Sabine MacCormack>

  2. 2 :  as a result of :  as a consequence of <power vacuums left in the wake of the second world war — A. M. Schlesinger b1917>

Origin of wake

akin to Middle Low German wake wake, Norwegian dialect vok, Old Norse vǫk hole in ice

First Known Use: 1627

Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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