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[uh-wey-kuh n] /əˈweɪ kən/
verb (used with or 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 re-awaken
Historical Examples
  • Are there any minds in which they do not re-awaken some sorrow, or some trouble?

  • No cause came to her with force enough to re-awaken her enthusiasms.

    The Bondwoman Marah Ellis Ryan
  • A ray of Consciousness is passed over that impression and you re-read it, you re-awaken the record.

    Assimilative Memory Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
  • Alas, centuries will pass before they re-awaken from their present stupor.

  • In her case, the first business was to re-awaken her within, and her own words have related something of the process.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • The mighty fist of the dead praefect had mayhap laid the creature low; in any case it were not safe to re-awaken dormant memories.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • It is the glad ministry of His grace to re-awaken silent chords, to restore broken harps, to “put new songs” in our mouths.

  • At first, when he had passed a few weeks there, the memory of Rome used to re-awaken in his thoughts.

  • Might they not some day re-awaken as this present wound healed and ceased to smart?

    The Mayor of Troy Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Enough, my friends; I would not re-awaken the memory of those days of misery and death.

    The Adventures of Gerard Arthur Conan Doyle
Word Origin and History for re-awaken

also reawaken, 1810, from re- + awaken. Related: Reawakened; reawakening.



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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