awak·​en·​ing ə-ˈwāk-niŋ How to pronounce awakening (audio)
plural awakenings
: a rousing from sleep
The night terror is an abrupt awakening early in the night, most often within the first hour or two of sleep …Franklin Galvin et al.
: a rousing from inactivity or indifference
… one of the primary branches of yoga … prescribes various practices to assist the yogi in the gradual awakening of the heart.James Bailey
: a revival of interest in something (such as religion)
Russian Jews themselves experienced a cultural and political awakening after Israel's victory, some openly challenging their government's ban on religious and Hebrew training.Jonathan D. Sarna
: a coming into awareness
Like his discovery of literature, this intimacy becomes an awakening to the possibilities of life.Morris Dickstein

Examples of awakening in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jerome Bias’ awakening came 15 years ago at Furnitureland South, the mega-size home furnishings store outside High Point. Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 In her new book, Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines, Buolamwini describes her own awakenings to the clear and present dangers of today’s AI. IEEE Spectrum, 27 Nov. 2023 The search for usable data Several studies have documented the reactivation (or awakening) of a dormant Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in some COVID-19 patients. Carolyn Barber, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2023 Like Miranda, Nixon’s Gilded Age character, Ada, is going through a romantic awakening of her own, having married for the first time after being a spinster her entire life. Vulture, 17 Jan. 2024 Many describe the experience as a homecoming celebration, a cultural exploration and a spiritual awakening all at once. Rosalind Cummings-Yeates, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 In grandparent land there are no 2 a.m. awakenings, no cringing when a toddler approaches any sharp edge or delicate vase, no human solid waste removal and toxic cleanup, and no 24/7 responsibility for the life of another precious human being. Chris John Amorosino, Hartford Courant, 8 Jan. 2024 Children of refugees from Muslim nations organized many of the demonstrations, evidence of a political awakening among a new generation of young Americans who are helping to shape U.S. public opinion in support of a cease-fire in the Middle East. Clara Ence Morse, Washington Post, 25 Dec. 2023 Even today, Frank recalls the experience as a kind of religious awakening. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'awakening.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of awakening was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near awakening

Cite this Entry

“Awakening.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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