wake-up call


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

Examples of wake-up call in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 2021 heat wave served as a wake-up call for the Northwest, where many households don’t have air conditioning. Evan Bush, NBC News, 29 July 2022 But the 2021 rampage served as a wake-up call for many, signaling that Winthrop, including its government, needed to take a more active role in countering hate, Curtis said. Alexander Thompson, BostonGlobe.com, 10 July 2022 But whatever the methods used, this should be a wake-up call for executives as well as politicians. David Meyer, Fortune, 27 June 2022 But Davis pointed out that the real social justice requires more than a wake-up call and protests; the real work must be ongoing. Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2022 George Floyd became a powerful symbol of persistent inequality and systemic injustice against Black Americans and a wake-up call for all. Jared Council, Forbes, 26 May 2022 The Milwaukee Bucks gave the Boston Celtics a lesson and a wake-up call in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 1 May 2022 Jennifer Nuzzo, a Brown University pandemic researcher, told Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press (AP) that the case should be a wake-up call for people who are not vaccinated against polio. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 July 2022 Liu Junyan, climate and energy project leader for Greenpeace East Asia, said the Zhengzhou flooding was a wake-up call for the Chinese government and public. Nectar Gan, CNN, 20 July 2022 See More

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best alarm clocks.

Learn More About wake-up call

Time Traveler for wake-up call

Time Traveler

The first known use of wake-up call was in 1974

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near wake-up call

wake up and smell the coffee/roses

wake-up call


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for wake-up call

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wake-up call.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wake-up%20call. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on wake-up call

Britannica English: Translation of wake-up call for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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