Definition of awake in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈweɪk/

verb (past awoke /əˈwəʊk/; past participle awoken /əˈwəʊk(ə)n/)

[no object]
1Stop sleeping; wake from sleep: she awoke to find the streets covered in snow
More example sentences
  • I slept reasonably well, awaking only for the Erie, PA station stop.
  • Then pain was an immense pulsation on her back that hadn't stopped since she had awoken again.
  • She awoke when the carriage stopped with a jolt.
wake (up), awaken, stir, come to, come round, bestir oneself, show signs of life, return to the land of the living
1.1 [with object] Cause (someone) to wake from sleep: my screams awoke my parents
More example sentences
  • A loud scream awoke me from my sleep and I sat bolt upright, staring around in wide-eyed confusion.
  • A scream awoke me on the morning of my last day at Tian's tower.
  • With the beautiful sound of songbirds singing in the tree beside our room, the gentle voices awoke Andrea from her sleep beside me.
wake (up), awaken, waken, rouse, arouse
informal give someone a shout
British informal knock up
1.2Regain consciousness: I awoke none the worse for the operation
More example sentences
  • I stayed in a stage that was in and out of consciousness until I fully awoke sometime between five and six in the morning.
  • James' mother told the inquest her son did not lose consciousness but ‘stayed awake until the end’.
  • He claimed he lost consciousness and awoke in the Emergency Department at the Montfort Hospital.
1.3 (awake to) Become aware of; come to a realization of: the authorities finally awoke to the extent of the problem
More example sentences
  • Suddenly, everyone awoke to the realization that we had come to one mind, we had reached consensus.
  • Share prices began a steep descent, and investors gradually awoke to the reality that they had been had.
  • Just as he was pinching himself to make sure it was all real he was injured and awoke to the reality of trials and loan deals.
realize, become aware of, become conscious of, become cognizant of, become mindful of
informal get wise to
rare cognize
1.4Make or become active again: [with object]: there were echoes and scents which awoke some memory in me
More example sentences
  • I was five then, and had never been back, but I wanted to find that house, see if it would awake long dormant memories.
  • The memories Chris had awoken within her from their date in the park didn't help.
  • He wonders if it is some of her blacked-out memories that have suddenly awoken in her mind.


1Not asleep: the noise might keep you awake at night
More example sentences
  • Will, dragging Raven behind him, who was also nearly falling asleep after being awake all night, left and shut the door quietly behind him.
  • Not that sort of restless, you understand, but rather restless awake rather than asleep.
  • As a runner, I have more trouble staying awake than falling asleep at night.
wakeful, sleepless, wide awake, conscious;
tossing and turning, restless, restive
archaic watchful
rare insomnolent
1.1 (awake to) Aware of: too few are awake to the dangers
More example sentences
  • As a hotelier, he feels corporates must be alive and awake to the social and environmental problems plaguing the nation.
  • Nothing had been heard like it, then all of a sudden Hollywood was alive and awake to widescreen pictures.
  • O God, keep us alert to the opportunities to serve and awake to the promise that ‘we are your disciples if we love one another.’
aware of, conscious of, cognizant of, mindful of, sensible of, alive to, alert to, sensitive to
archaic ware of


Old English āwæcnan, āwacian, both used in the sense 'come out of sleep' (see a-2, wake1).

  • watch from Old English:

    In Old English watch meant ‘to be or remain awake’, and it is from the same root as wake (Old English) and awake (Old English). The connection with timepieces arose because in the 15th century the first watches were alarm clocks of some kind, whose function was to wake you up. The watches of the night are the hours of night, especially as a time when you cannot sleep. This watch was one of the periods into which the night was divided for the purposes of guard duty. The link with insomnia first appears in the writings of Sir Walter Scott, who wrote in his journal for January 1826: ‘The watches of the night pass wearily when disturbed by fruitless regrets.’

Words that rhyme with awake

ache, bake, betake, Blake, brake, break, cake, crake, drake, fake, flake, forsake, hake, Jake, lake, make, mistake, opaque, partake, quake, rake, sake, shake, sheikh, slake, snake, splake, stake, steak, strake, take, undertake, wake, wideawake

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: awake

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