Definition of awaken in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈweɪk(ə)n/


[with object]
1Rouse from sleep; cause to stop sleeping: Anna was awakened by the telephone
More example sentences
  • The telephone starts to ring awakening me from sleep.
  • The couple were awakened from their sleep by the loud explosion.
  • TV news kept it secret, but homeless children in shelters across the country report being awakened from troubled sleep and alerted by dead relatives.
1.1 [no object] Stop sleeping: he sighed but did not awaken
More example sentences
  • ‘Pity,’ she groaned before drifting off to sleep, never to awaken again.
  • Dozing off between stations, I managed to awaken at each stop to repeat the question.
  • ‘So, sleeping beauty finally awakens,’ he said, walking towards her.
1.2Rouse (a feeling): different images can awaken new emotions within us
More example sentences
  • Step 6: The judgment awakens feelings of joy, anger, indifference, etc.
  • James stumbles across a beautiful fairy-girl, Anastasia, who awakens tender feelings of love that are entirely alien to him.
  • I would have never thought that a person outside of my family and my circle of close friends could awaken such feelings.
1.3 (awaken someone to) Make someone aware of (something) for the first time: the film helped to awaken many to the horrors of apartheid
More example sentences
  • It also, with hindsight, awakens us to how fragile our governments are.
  • Barry is pushed deeper and deeper into a hair-tearing abyss, until his sister introduces him to Lena Leonard who, with deceptively simple tenderness in this love story, awakens Barry to his inner strength.
  • Many believe the attacks in the US have finally awakened America to the effects of terrorism and that funds raised for the IRA's political allies in Sinn Fein will plummet.


Old English onwæcnan, from on 'on' + waken.

Words that rhyme with awaken

bacon, betaken, forsaken, Jamaican, mistaken, partaken, shaken, taken, waken

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Line breaks: awaken

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