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[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 wakefulness
Historical Examples
  • The southerly winds which, in the northern hemisphere, are hot and enervating, always produce an increase of wakefulness.

  • Long and hard he slept, for he was weary with wakefulness and anxiety.

    The Sign of the Spider Bertram Mitford
  • With wakefulness came a horrible sensation of hunger and thirst.

    The Wizard of the Sea Roy Rockwood
  • His wakefulness is not due to remorse; there is no such sentiment in his soul.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
  • Through that haze he heard voices, presently, which called him back to wakefulness.

    The Seventh Man Max Brand
  • The others started into wakefulness at a touch, and stood staring at him helplessly.

    Fire Island G. Manville Fenn
  • He had gained experience enough by this time to distrust the wakefulness of Mrs. Lecount.

    No Name Wilkie Collins
  • Phoebe, heavy-eyed and pale from wakefulness and worry, came then, and called them in to breakfast.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • It seemed as though she had but closed her eyes when Bills voice called her back to wakefulness.

  • He wanted to feel himself alone in wakefulness and unobserved.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for wakefulness


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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