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

Definition of waken

intransitive verb

: awake often used with up

transitive verb

: to rouse especially out of sleep : wake

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Synonyms & Antonyms for waken


arouse, awake, awaken, knock up [British], rouse, wake



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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

The homeowner was wakened by the sound of knocking at the front door. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Door knock in the middle of the night leads to fight, deadly shooting in Lawrence | The Kansas City Star," 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, "Public mourns Princess Diana on 20th anniversary of death," 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, "Jer retired, now Jeff is gone as Radio Hall of Fame 'Showgram' is canceled by KyXy," 30 June 2017

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.

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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

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

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More Definitions for waken



English Language Learners Definition of waken

formal : to stop sleeping or to cause (someone) to stop sleeping


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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waken

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Spanish Central: Translation of waken

Comments on waken

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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