awaken

verb awak·en \ ə-ˈwā-kən \
Updated on: 18 Apr 2018
awakened; awakening play \-ˈwāk-niŋ, -ˈwā-kə-\
: awake
  • was awakened by the alarm clock

awakener

play \-ˈwāk-nər, -ˈwā-kə-\ noun

Examples of awaken in a Sentence

  1. She usually awakens several times during the night.

  2. A loud noise awakened her.

Recent Examples of awaken from the Web

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The Past Tense Forms of awake and awaken

Awake and awaken are two distinct verbs that mean the same thing. In other words, they're synonyms, and in the present tense they each behave the way English verbs typically behave:

The cat awakes at dawn.

The cat awakens at dawn.

Things get trickier in the past tense.

Our modern verb awake is the result of the long-ago melding of two older verbs. These verbs were very similar, but one had regular past tense forms (like play: played, has played) and the other had irregular past tense forms (like take: took, has taken).

When the two verbs melded into the modern awake (which was a process over many years), things got complicated, resulting ultimately in the following grammatically permissible sentences:

The cat awaked at dawn.

The cat awoke at dawn.

The cat was awaked by the mouse at dawn.

The cat was awoken by the mouse at dawn.

Note, though, that at this point, these are the most common:

The cat awoke at dawn.

The cat was awoken by the mouse at dawn.

That's the story of awake. Fortunately awaken (which was originally one of the past tense forms of awake) is simpler. It's a regular verb, which means it has the usual past tense forms:

The cat awakened at dawn.

The cat was awakened at dawn by a mouse.

As if all this weren't complicated enough, awake is also an adjective:

Because of the cat, I too am now awake.

For a detailed discussion of the history of these words, please see the The Grammatical History of 'Awaken' / 'Awoken' / 'Awakened'.

Origin and Etymology of awaken

Middle English, from Old English awæcnian, from a- + wæcnian to waken

awaken Synonyms

Synonyms

arouse, awake, rouse, wake, waken;

Antonyms

lull;

Near Antonyms

hypnotize, mesmerize;



AWAKEN Defined for English Language Learners

awaken

  • : to stop sleeping : to wake up


AWAKEN Defined for Kids

awaken

verb awak·en \ ə-ˈwā-kən \
awakened; awakening
: 1awake


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