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[uh-weyk] /əˈweɪk/
verb (used with or without object), awoke or awaked, awoke or awaked or awoken, awaking.
to wake up; rouse from sleep:
I awoke at six with a feeling of dread.
to rouse to action; become active:
His flagging interest awoke.
to come or bring to an awareness; become cognizant (often followed by to):
She awoke to the realities of life.
waking; not sleeping.
vigilant; alert:
They were awake to the danger.
Origin of awake
before 1000; Middle English awaken, Old English awacen, past participle of awæcnan; see a1, waken
Related forms
awakeable, adjective
half-awake, adjective
reawake, verb, reawoke or reawaked, reawaking.
unawake, adjective
unawakeable, adjective
unawaked, adjective
unawaking, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for awake
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I stood waiting with the full pitcher in my hand till she should awake.

  • Mother must be awake now; and she'll punish me if I go back.

    The Tale of Grunty Pig Arthur Scott Bailey
  • Only the young Franciscan, silent and motionless just now at the feast, awake still.

    An Eagle Flight Jos Rizal
  • Diana did not speak, or betray by any movement that she was awake.

  • Thus does every hacienda throughout Yucatan awake to its day's work.

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
British Dictionary definitions for awake


verb awakes, awaking, awoke, awaked, awoken, awaked
to emerge or rouse from sleep; wake
to become or cause to become alert
(usually foll by to) to become or make aware (of): to awake to reality
(transitive) Also awaken. to arouse (feelings, etc) or cause to remember (memories, etc)
adjective (postpositive)
not sleeping
(sometimes foll by to) lively or alert
Word Origin
Old English awacian, awacan; see wake1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for awake

a merger of two Middle English verbs: 1. awaken, from Old English awæcnan (earlier onwæcnan; strong, past tense awoc, past participle awacen) "to awake, arise, originate," from a "on" + wacan "to arise, become awake" (see wake (v.)); and 2. awakien, from Old English awacian (weak, past participle awacode) "to awaken, revive; arise; originate, spring from," from a "on" (see a (2)) + wacian "to be awake, remain awake, watch" (see watch (v.)).

Both originally were intransitive only; the transitive sense being expressed by Middle English awecchen (from Old English aweccan) until later Middle English. In Modern English, the tendency has been to restrict the strong past tense and past participle (awoke, awoken) to the original intransitive sense and the weak inflection (awakened) to the transitive, but this never has been complete (see wake (v.); also cf. awaken).


"not asleep," c.1300, shortened from awaken, past participle of Old English awæcnan (see awaken).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for awake


Alert, Well, and Keeping Energetic Network
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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