eye opener

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eye opener

1. An utterly shocking or startling thing, situation, or revelation. Sometimes hyphenated. The former champion's crushing defeat in the first round of the tournament was an eye opener to everyone who had expected her to make it to the finals without resistance. Learning about John's opium addiction was a real eye-opener for me.
2. A strong alcoholic beverage consumed early in the morning or first thing upon waking. Sometimes hyphenated. Primarily heard in US, Canada, South Africa. After going on quite a bender over the weekend, an eye opener was the only thing that could get me moving on Monday morning.
See also: eye, opener
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

eye opener, an

1. A startling or shocking revelation, as in The first sentence of his speech was a real eye opener. This expression alludes to widening one's eyes with surprise. [Mid-1800s]
2. A strong alcoholic drink taken early in the morning, as in After a late night and little sleep, he generally needed an eye opener to jolt him awake . This usage alludes to the alleged wakening effect of such a beverage. [Early 1800s]
See also: eye
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. n. a real surprise. This day has been an eye-opener for me.
2. n. a wake-up drink of liquor; a strong drink any time. He knocked back a quick eye-opener and finished dressing.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain had said, "Natwar Singh's book is an eye opener for everyone; His book has exposed them.
"Watch comic relief this @rednoseday, you are in for a shock and eye opener!
It was an eye opener to the family members because you get out and see what the north has to offer.
Bennett has been relieving his feelings by telling his friends that he will run the editor of the Eye Opener out of town.
The top ten from Liverpool HMV this week is: 1 Vertigo U2 2 Lose My Breath Destiny's Child 3 Curtain Falls Blue 4 Just Lose It Eminem 5 Hungry Eyes Eye Opener 6 Out Of The Blue Delta Goodrem 7 At The Weekend Michael Gray 8 Wonderful Ja Rule 9 Everlasting Love Jamie Cullum 10 My Perogative Britney Spears Win a chart album of your choice by telling me the name of U2's lead singer.
Focusing on the breath, or noticing when they're not breathing is an eye opener for many.
Ahsan Iqbal said the result of Lodhran by-elections is an eye opener for everyone.
The winner was revealed at the AOP student 'Eye Opener' conference at Center Parcs' Longleat resort at the end of November.
But by far the biggest winner was Hungry Eyes by Eye Opener which made it to No.7 in Scotland, but only managed No.16 on the official UK placings.
The production was also an eye opener. Usually Giselle's success rides on the diva dancing the lead, with the ballet in service to her; here, the star of the show was a perfectly calibrated ensemble working together in service to the ballet.
The trip has been a real eye opener." The second leg takes them to the Canaries.
New Delhi, July 23 ( ANI ): A day after Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen said that he would not like to see Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the Prime Minister's chair as he did not have secular credentials he was claiming to have, Congress leader Jagdambika Pal said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should see this statement as an "eye opener" and as a warning sign.
As the new academic year begins, students are reminded that the AOP will hold its annual 'Eye Opener' conference at Center Parcs in Longleat Forest, Wiltshire, on November 26-28.