Denotation vs. Connotation


[weyk-fuh l] /ˈweɪk fəl/
unable to sleep; not sleeping; indisposed to sleep:
Excitement made the children wakeful.
characterized by absence of sleep:
a wakeful night.
watchful; alert; vigilant:
a wakeful foe.
Origin of wakeful
1540-50; wake1 + -ful
Related forms
wakefully, adverb
wakefulness, noun
unwakeful, adjective
unwakefully, adverb
unwakefulness, noun
1. sleepless, awake, insomniac, restless. 3. wary, observant.
1. asleep, sleeping. 2. sleepful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wakeful
Historical Examples
  • These expressions from different parts of the country show the wakeful sympathy which prevailed.

  • The commandant passed a wakeful night and arrived early at his office.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • His nap in the chair had rendered him wakeful, and he tossed and turned till almost midnight before he began to grow drowsy.

    The Boy Scouts On The Range Lieut. Howard Payson
  • wakeful birds deceived by the moon piped softly and were silent.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • The shrill sound of the wakeful fowl always served us in the night as a "striking clock."

    The Syrian Christ Abraham Mitrie Rihbany
  • By her presence she had sanctified it and made of it a shrine for his meditative and wakeful hours.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
  • But the living, wakeful psyche is so flexible and sensitive, it has a horror of automatism.

  • The child, tired, but wakeful, stood at the door in fear of the dog.

    Despair's Last Journey David Christie Murray
  • He was some distance off, and as yet the one wakeful guard had not seen him.

    Under the Rebel's Reign Charles Neufeld
  • I was fevered with happiness; the past and future reeled before my wakeful vision.

    Angling Sketches Andrew Lang
British Dictionary definitions for wakeful


unable or unwilling to sleep
Derived Forms
wakefully, adverb
wakefulness, noun
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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