wak·​en | \ ˈwā-kən How to pronounce waken (audio) \
wakened; wakening\ ˈwāk-​niŋ , ˈwā-​kə-​ How to pronounce waken (audio) \

Definition of waken

intransitive verb

: awake often used with up

transitive verb

: to rouse especially out of sleep : wake

Synonyms & Antonyms for waken



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Examples of waken in a Sentence

a sudden loud noise wakened us she usually wakens when sunlight begins to stream through the windows
Recent Examples on the Web Two easy arm swing stretches to waken your shoulders after hours hunched over computers and phones. Jonathan Beverly, Outside Online, 19 May 2020 The startling display of acrobatics came, according to police, on Oct. 19, after homeowners in the 700 block of Pershing Drive in Silver Spring were wakened about 2:15 a.m. by the sound of a door. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2019 Before the Sword, by Grace Lin Mulan crept into her house, even though the Rabbit had told her the villagers would not waken even with the loudest of noises. David Canfield, EW.com, 24 Oct. 2019 The homeowner was wakened by the sound of knocking at the front door. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, 4 Apr. 2018 She was wakened by an early morning phone call from family in Australia telling her the princess had died in a Paris car accident, then raced to the palace with her daughter and was among the first to leave a floral tribute. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, 31 Aug. 2017 Local comedy writer Mary Jo Crowley was asleep when a daytime call came in from her medical office, abruptly wakening her up. Diane Bell, sandiegouniontribune.com, 30 June 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of waken

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for waken

Middle English waknen, from Old English wæcnian; akin to Old Norse vakna to awaken, Old English wæccan to watch

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Time Traveler for waken

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The first known use of waken was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Waken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waken. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for waken


wak·​en | \ ˈwā-kən How to pronounce waken (audio) \
wakened; wakening

Kids Definition of waken

: wake entry 1 sense 1 The sound of thunder wakened me.


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