wake-up call

noun
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of wake-up call

1 : something (such as a telephone call from a hotel employee to a guest) that serves to wake a sleeper
2 : something that serves to alert a person to a problem, danger, or need
  • a wake-up call to parents

Recent Examples of wake-up call from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wake-up call.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of wake-up call

1974


WAKE-UP CALL Defined for English Language Learners

wake-up call

noun

Definition of wake-up call for English Language Learners

  • : a telephone call that a hotel makes to your room to wake you up

  • : something that makes you fully understand a problem, danger, or need



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up wake-up call? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!