wake

1 of 3

verb

woke ˈwōk How to pronounce wake (audio) also waked wākt How to pronounce wake (audio) ; woken ˈwō-kən How to pronounce wake (audio) or waked also woke; waking

intransitive verb

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
2
: awake, wake up
They woke early.

transitive verb

1
: to stand watch over (someone or something)
especially : to hold a wake over
2
a
: to rouse from or as if from sleep : awake, wake up
Something woke her in the middle of the night.
b
: stir, excite
an experience that woke old feelings
c
: to arouse conscious interest in : alert
usually used with to
woke the public to the risks
waker noun

wake

2 of 3

noun (1)

1
: the state of being awake
2
a(1)
: an annual English parish festival formerly held in commemoration of the church's patron saint
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
: a watch held over the body of a dead person prior to burial and sometimes accompanied by festivity

wake

3 of 3

noun (2)

1
: the track left by a moving body (such as a ship) in a fluid (such as water)
broadly : a track or path left
2
Phrases
in the wake of
1
: close behind and in the same path of travel
missionaries arrived in the wake of conquistadors and soldiersSabine MacCormack
2
: as a result of : as a consequence of
power vacuums left in the wake of the second world warA. M. Schlesinger born 1917

Examples of wake in a Sentence

Verb She can never remember her dreams upon waking. my banging around in the kitchen woke my wife
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
But its sunrise function is the real star, gently waking you up just like nature does. Micaela Arnett, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 Dave Christensen woke around 2 a.m. Feb. 5 to the sound of crackling outside his bedroom window and then what sounded like an explosion. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 In that moment, Emily felt profoundly confused, as if the lines between her dream world and waking reality were blurred. Mark Travers, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Jane Lotz said Dobby has quickly become a member of her family, cuddling with her daughter each night and waking her sons up every morning. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Feb. 2024 During his hospital stay, Loyola had graying fingertips, swelling and excruciating pain that would wake him up at night, the complaint claims. Samira Asma-Sadeque, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2024 If painful leg cramps have woken you up in the middle of the night, the condition can be both scary and confusing. Erica Lamberg, Fox News, 4 Feb. 2024 Reads devotionals, news clips or emails to wake her brain up. Katie Toussaint, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The device can also wake you up at the most optimal time of your sleep cycle, and the app offers insights into your habits and data. Danielle Directo-Meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Jan. 2024
Noun
In the wake of Kissinger’s death, in November 2023, his critics on the left have not been slow to repeat their old list of indictments, ranging from the bombing of civilians in Cambodia to supporting dictators in Chile, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Niall Ferguson, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The growth stems from a 2001 congressional mandate, in the wake of 9/11, requiring the implementation of a system that would allow all travelers arriving and departing the United States to be identified using biometric technology. Christine Chung, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 Before this game Liverpool were two points clear at the top of the table, Jurgen Klopp received his 10th Premier League ‘manager of the month’ award and Diogo Jota was named the ‘player of the month’ in the wake of some excellent recent form. Joseph O'Sullivan, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Templeton captures the reeling gaze of skaters in the wake of traumatic injuries. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2024 In the wake of the deal announcement, Diamondback is trading at 9.9 times earnings, overtaking EOG, which has pledged to sit out the current buying spree. Kevin Crowley, Fortune, 17 Feb. 2024 In the wake of the nation’s 50th mass shooting so far this year, John Mellencamp says enough is enough. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 16 Feb. 2024 The Kansas City Chiefs — in conjunction with the NFL — have made a significant donation to a new initiative in the wake of Wednesday’s parade rally mass shooting. Jesse Newell, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 At least two GoFundMe fundraiser campaigns have been launched in the wake of the deadly fire, both of which have raised nearly $5,000 as of Tuesday morning. Brian Brant, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

Noun (2)

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

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wake was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near wake

Cite this Entry

“Wake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wake. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

wake

1 of 3 verb
woke ˈwōk How to pronounce wake (audio) also waked ˈwākt How to pronounce wake (audio) ; woken ˈwō-kən How to pronounce wake (audio) or waked also woke; waking
1
: to be or remain awake
2
: to stand watch over (as a dead body)
especially : to hold a wake over
3
: to arouse from or as if from sleep : awake
often used with up
waker noun

wake

2 of 3 noun
: a time before a dead person is buried when people gather to remember him or her and often to view the body

wake

3 of 3 noun
1
: a track or path left by a moving body (as a ship) in the water
2
Etymology

Verb

from Old English wacan "to awake" and Old English wacian "to be awake"

Noun

of Germanic origin

More from Merriam-Webster on wake

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