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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


[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.
1585-95; awaken + -ing2, -ing1
Related forms
awakeningly, adverb
reawakening, noun
unawakening, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for reawakening
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The reawakening of the religious spirit simultaneously with the growth of Socialist parties is no mere chance.

    Anarchism E. V. Zenker
  • According to this same theory the reawakening of an older impression is an ecphory.

    Sex Henry Stanton
  • After a state has once been excited, it gets the power of reawakening other states which have accompanied it or followed it.

  • I have seen signs of the reawakening of greed, of selfishness.

    Armageddon--2419 A.D. Philip Francis Nowlan
  • The Terror was over; life was reawakening, and the gloomy town gave itself up to it gladly.

  • Before this, however, there were symptoms of the reawakening of a dormant idea.

    The Pictorial Press Mason Jackson
  • But the new voice was stilled into nothingness by the shrill, reawakening falsetto.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • The reawakening of his old life in him was strange and slow.

    The History of David Grieve Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • From Halle streams of the new life flowed out until there were traces of reawakening throughout Europe.

British Dictionary definitions for reawakening


/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 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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