"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uh-wey-kuh-ning] /əˈweɪ kə nɪŋ/
rousing; quickening:
an awakening interest in ballet.
the act of awaking from sleep.
a revival of interest or attention.
a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something:
a rude awakening to the disagreeable facts.
a renewal of interest in religion, especially in a community; a revival.
Origin of awakening
1585-95; awaken + -ing2, -ing1
Related forms
awakeningly, adverb
reawakening, noun
unawakening, adjective


[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 awakening
  • Drinking jug wine with my in-laws was a culinary awakening.
  • It added little to my existing knowledge and did not provide a cultural awakening.
  • But on this morning of the great awakening, he wasn't hungry.
  • The programmed social awakening of the third month of life will meet almost all expectations, and it can't be rushed.
  • Now that they are competing at a new level, it is a rude awakening.
  • Thoroughly wash swimwear and clean out camping equipment for a less pungent spring awakening.
  • Now, you'd think such people are in for a rude awakening when they realize they married a real human being with real human flaws.
  • It is through that fear that he will have a spiritual awakening.
  • But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.
  • The awakening requires time, as the dream takes place during that period.
British Dictionary definitions for awakening


/əˈweɪkənɪŋ; əˈweɪknɪŋ/
the start of a feeling or awareness in a person: a picture of an emotional awakening
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 awakening



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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