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[wey-kuh n] /ˈweɪ kən/
verb (used with object)
to rouse from sleep; wake; awake; awaken.
to rouse from inactivity; stir up or excite; arouse; awaken:
to waken the reader's interest.
verb (used without object)
to wake, or become awake; awaken.
Origin of waken
before 900; Middle English waknen, Old English wæcnan; cognate with Old Norse vakna; akin to wake1; see -en1
Related forms
wakener, noun
rewaken, verb
unwakened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for waken
  • If you waken a sleeper and he tells you his dream, he s reporting from memory.
  • The cubs nuzzle her, trying to waken her, then settle down beside her.
  • She wants to find the wild chimpanzees before they waken and climb down from their nests.
  • She trod softly, so as not to waken him, and went through into the room beyond.
  • Tho rocking of houses was distinctly felt, in some cases being so noticeable as to waken households out of sound slumber.
  • The animals take many minutes to rouse but waken periodically to feed and excrete.
British Dictionary definitions for waken


to rouse or be roused from sleep or some other inactive state
Derived Forms
wakener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for waken

"to become awake," Old English wæcnan, wæcnian "to rise, spring," from the same source as wake (v.). Figurative sense was in Old English. Transitive sense of "to arouse (someone or something) from sleep" is recorded from c.1200. Related: Wakened; wakening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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