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[uh-wey-kuh n] /əˈweɪ kən/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to awake; waken.
Origin of awaken
before 900; Middle English awak(e)nen, Old English awæcnian earlier onwæcnian. See a-1, waken
Related forms
awakenable, adjective
awakener, noun
reawaken, verb
well-awakened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for awaken
  • They usually sleep in this position during the day and awaken to search for food at night.
  • When you meditate you usually awaken a larger part of body than you intended with these subtle sensations.
  • Find him, turn him into a star and he will awaken a nation of fans.
  • There are negative externalities to resources being allocated by people who can't awaken to the absence of a beneficial return.
  • Not only this, but the opportunity here afforded will awaken among us a new era of industrial progress.
  • We had waited perhaps half an hour for him to awaken and then be dressed.
  • It's what an artist does: you want to express it so that you awaken sensibility.
  • They'll awaken periodically to eat, then go back to sleep.
  • People may take longer to fall asleep, and they tend to get sleepy earlier in the evening and to awaken earlier in the morning.
  • If you awaken feeling refreshed, you are getting enough sleep.
Word Origin and History for awaken

Old English awæcnan (intransitive), "to spring into being, arise, originate," also, less often, "to wake up;" earlier onwæcnan, from a- (1) "on" + wæcnan (see waken). Transitive meaning "to rouse from sleep" is recorded from 1510s; figurative sense of "to stir up, rouse to activity" is from c.1600.

Originally strong declension (past tense awoc, past participle awacen), already in Old English it was confused with awake (v.) and a weak past tense awæcnede (modern awakened) emerged and has since become the accepted form, with awoke and awoken transferred to awake. Subtle shades of distinction determine the use of awake or awaken in modern English. Related: Awakening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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