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



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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 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, "Startling display of acrobatics in Silver Spring as officers pursue burglary suspect," 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, "Exclusive preview: Grace Lin fashions a gorgeous original Mulan novel," 24 Oct. 2019 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

Time Traveler

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 29 Mar. 2020.

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How to pronounce waken (audio)

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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