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[uh-wey-kuh n] /əˈweɪ kən/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to awake; waken.
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 awakened
  • Colleges and universities haven't awakened to the fact that there are plenty of great courses in other places.
  • Space shuttle-watchers took their place in the sun, not yet awakened to the true risks of exploring the heavens.
  • Regulators, investors, and limited partners have awakened to the risks inherent in any research activity.
  • Several taxpayers, however, have awakened to the fact that government spending is simply out of control.
  • She had then gone to sleep for a few hours and been awakened by the abdominal pain.
  • It was as if she awakened a spirit of delight wherever she went.
  • It was his feeling that if he were not awakened every hour during the night, he might die of suffocation.
  • We have been awakened by children standing by the side of the bed with bloodied noses, by a decade of earaches.
  • Two years before, far away from there, she had fallen asleep without putting out the candle and had awakened surrounded by flames.
  • In bed, he is awakened by a snowplow and imagines her beside him.
Word Origin and History for awakened



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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