• Wake


    • IPA: /ˈweɪk/
    • Rhymes: -eɪk
    • Homophones: Wake

    Origin 1

    From Middle English waken, Old English wacan

    Full definition of wake


    1. (intransitive) (often followed by up) To stop sleeping.I woke up at four o'clock this morning.
      • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4How long I slept I cannot tell, for I had nothing to guide me to the time, but woke at length, and found myself still in darkness.
    2. (transitive) (often followed by up) To make somebody stop sleeping; to rouse from sleep.
      • Bible, Zech. iv. 1The angel ... came again and waked me.
    3. The neighbour's car alarm woke me from a strange dream.
    4. (transitive, figurative) To put in motion or action; to arouse; to excite.
      • Miltonlest fierce remembrance wake my sudden rage
      • J. R. GreenEven Richard's crusade woke little interest in his island realm.
    5. (intransitive, figurative) To be excited or roused up; to be stirred up from a dormant, torpid, or inactive state; to be active.
      • MiltonGentle airs due at their hour
        To fan the earth now waked.
      • KebleThen wake, my soul, to high desires.
    6. To lay out a body prior to burial in order to allow family and friends to pay their last respects.
    7. To watch, or sit up with, at night, as a dead body.
    8. To be or remain awake; not to sleep.
      • Bible, Eccles. xlii. 9The father waketh for the daughter.
      • MiltonThough wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps.
      • John LockeI cannot think any time, waking or sleeping, without being sensible of it.
    9. (obsolete) To sit up late for festive purposes; to hold a night revel.
      • ShakespeareThe king doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse,
        Keeps wassail, and the swaggering upspring reels.



    (plural wakes)
    1. (obsolete, poetic) The act of waking, or state of being awake.
      • ShakespeareMaking such difference 'twixt wake and sleep.
      • DrydenSinging her flatteries to my morning wake.
    2. The state of forbearing sleep, especially for solemn or festive purposes; a vigil.
      • DrydenThe warlike wakes continued all the night,
        And funeral games played at new returning light.
      • MiltonThe wood nymphs, decked with daises trim,
        Their merry wakes and pastimes keep.

    Origin 2

    From Old English wacu.



    (plural wakes)
    1. A period after a person's death before the body is buried, in some cultures accompanied by a party.
    2. (historical, Church of England) An annual parish festival formerly held in commemoration of the dedication of a church. Originally, prayers were said on the evening preceding, and hymns were sung during the night, in the church; subsequently, these vigils were discontinued, and the day itself, often with succeeding days, was occupied in rural pastimes and exercises, attended by eating and drinking.
      • Ld. BernersGreat solemnities were made in all churches, and great fairs and wakes throughout all England.
      • DraytonAnd every village smokes at wakes with lusty cheer.


    Origin 3

    Probably Middle Low German, from Old Norse vǫk ("a hole in the ice") ( >

    Danish våge, Icelandic vök).



    (plural wakes)
    1. The path left behind a ship on the surface of the water.
    2. The turbulent air left behind a flying aircraft.
    3. (figuratively) The area behind something, typically a rapidly moving object.
      • De QuinceyThis effect followed immediately in the wake of his earliest exertions.
      • ThackeraySeveral humbler persons ... formed quite a procession in the dusty wake of his chariot wheels.
      • 2011, September 28, Tom Rostance, Arsenal 2 - 1 Olympiakos, Alex Song launched a long ball forward from the back and the winger took it down nicely on his chest. He cut across the penalty area from the right and after one of the three defenders in his wake failed to make a meaningful clearance, the Oxlade-Chamberlain was able to dispatch a low left-footed finish into the far corner.

    Origin 4



    (plural wakes)
    1. A number of vultures assembled together.

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