rude awakening

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rude awakening

The shocking instance of learning the unpleasant or unwelcome truth about a situation. We had a rude awakening when the waiter brought us the bill and we saw how much we had spent on dinner and drinks.
See also: awaken, rude

a rude awakening

COMMON If you have had a rude awakening, you have been forced to realize the unpleasant truth about something. Such details as have emerged about the new economic package suggest that these citizens are indeed in for a rude awakening. Johnson was confident he could make a quick profit. But, instead of quick profits, he got a rude awakening.
See also: awaken, rude