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be a wake-up
To be aware or conscious of something. Primarily heard in Australia. Is she a wake-up to her husband's illegal activities?
in the wake of (something)
1. In the aftermath of something, often as a consequence. In the wake of the scandal, several committee members resigned.
2. Coming immediately after something. In the wake of the final scene, the audience burst into applause.
leave (something) in (one's)/its wake
To create or produce a lingering effect (usually a negative one) as a result of one's or something's actions or behavior. The tornado left a trail of destruction in its wake. The outspoken writer has embarked on a nationwide tour, and she has been leaving controversy in her wake so far.
loud enough to wake the dead
Extremely noisy and disruptive. Would you two be quiet—you're loud enough wake the dead! Having so many kids running around screaming all at once was loud enough to wake the dead.
stop and smell the roses
To take time to enjoy the finer or more enjoyable aspects of life, especially when one has become overworked or overly stressed. You can't keep working these 80 hour workweeks, John! You have to stop and smell the roses, or else what is all that work even for?
wake (up) from (something)
1. To regain consciousness from some sleep or sleep-like state. The ancient wizard woke from his 500-year slumber. There is still a chance he could wake up from his coma, but it seems less likely every day. I've been waking from the most horrible nightmares drenched in sweat each night.
2. To rouse or awaken someone from some sleep or sleep-like state. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used after "wake." A huge crash woke us from our sleep in the middle of the night. Please wake me up from my nap at noon.
wake (up) to (something)
1. Literally, to be roused from sleep due to some stimulus, especially noise. I've been waking to the sound of my neighbor's dogs barking at 6 AM every single morning for the past two months. We woke to a clatter downstairs, and I thought we were being robbed.
2. To encounter something upon waking. I woke up to the smell of bacon frying downstairs. For Mother's Day, let's let Mom sleep in and wake to a clean house.
3. To become suddenly and acutely aware of something, such as some problem or issue. When is the company finally going to wake up to the deep dissatisfaction among its employees? These politicians need to wake up to the serious problems plaguing our country.
wake the dead
To be extremely noisy and disruptive. Would you two be quiet—you'll wake the dead! Having so many kids running around screaming all at once, it was loud enough to wake the dead!
1. To awaken from sleep. I dreamt I was falling through a floor made of macaroni and cheese, when I suddenly woke up. I'm finding it harder and harder to wake up this early in the morning.
2. To cause someone to awaken from sleep. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wake" and "up." I had to wake him up because his snoring had gotten so bad in the night. I have to have a cup of coffee in the morning to help wake me up. Go wake up your brother—we're leaving soon!
3. To become alert to or aware of something, especially something that needs to be recognized as a problem. The board of directors refuses to see the imminent danger facing the company. At this point, it will take a financial disaster to make them to wake up. You need to wake up to what's happening instead of ignoring the situation.
4. To cause someone to become alert to or aware of something, especially something that needs to be recognized as a problem. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "wake" and "up." We're trying to wake people up to the horrible reality of global meat production. If investors were feeling complacent before, this earnings report ought to wake them up.
wake up and smell the coffee
Pay attention to what is happening. Come on, Stan, wake up and smell the coffee! They're cheating you out of millions!
wake up on the wrong side of (the) bed
To be in a particularly and persistently irritable, unhappy, or grouchy mood or state, especially when it is not in line with one's normal disposition. I'm sorry I snapped at you earlier, I think I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Jeez, the boss has been in a really bad mood all day. I guess he must have woken up on the wrong side of bed!
wake up to (something)
To become alert to or aware of something, especially something that needs to be recognized as a problem. You need to wake up to what's happening instead of ignoring the situation. If this country doesn't wake up to the hatred that's among us, we're going to have a bleak future.
wake up with the chickens
To wake up at a particularly early hour, especially at or before sunrise (i.e., the time when chickens wake). No, thank you, I won't have another drink. I have to wake up with the chickens tomorrow. Ma wakes up with the chickens every day to prepare breakfast for the farmhands.
To ride on a short surfboard atop the wake created by a motorboat. The sport differs from wakeboarding in that the rider's feet are not strapped to the board, which is longer and narrower, and they typically ride without being towed by the boat once they are able remain upright. My cousin taught me how to wakesurf when we were out at the lake house last summer. It felt weird not having my feet strapped into to anything at first, but it was a lot more thrilling when I got the hang of it!
1. A phone call that one schedules to be placed to one's hotel room in order to be woken up at a certain time. I set an alarm and scheduled a wake-up call so there's no way I oversleep for the first conference session tomorrow.
2. An event that triggers a sense of urgency or the motivation to make a change. Harold's sudden chest pain was the wake-up call he needed to finally see his doctor. That terrible car accident was just the wake-up call I needed to quit my boring office job and start acting again.
in the wake of something
Fig. after something; as a result of some event. (Alludes to a ship's wake.) We had no place to live in the wake of the fire. In the wake of the storm, there were many broken tree limbs.
wake (someone or an animal) up
to cause someone or an animal to awaken. Please don't wake me up until noon. Wake up your brother at noon.
wake someone (up) from something
to awaken someone from something, such as a sound sleep, a nap, dreams, etc. Henry woke Fred up from his dreams. He woke up Fred from a deep sleep.
wake someone up (to something)
to cause someone to become alert and pay attention. (Does not refer to someone actually asleep.) We tried to wake them up to the dangers. Try to wake up the students to their responsibilities.
wake the dead
Fig. to be so loud as to wake those who are "sleeping" the most soundly: the dead. You are making enough noise to wake the dead. Stop hollering! You'll wake the dead!
to awaken; to become alert. Wake up! We have to get on the road. It's time to wake up!
wake up and smell the coffee
Prov. Try to pay attention to what's going on. Things have changed around here, Wallace J. Hodder! Wake up and smell the coffee!
wake (up) from something
to awaken from something, such as a sound sleep, sleep, dreams, etc. She woke up from a deep sleep. Elaine woke from her dreams with a start.
wake (up) to somethingand waken to something
to awaken and face something, such as a problem, sunlight, music, noise, etc. I love to wake up to soft music. We woke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
in the wake of
1. Following directly on, as in In the wake of the procession, a number of small children came skipping down the aisle. This usage alludes to the waves made behind a passing vessel. [c. 1800]
2. In the aftermath of, as a consequence of, as in Famine often comes in the wake of war. [Mid-1800s]
to wake the dead, loud enough
Very loud, as in That band is loud enough to wake the dead. This hyperbolic expression dates from the mid-1800s.
A portentous event, report, or situation that brings an issue to immediate attention. For example, The rise in unemployment has given a wake-up call to state governments, or The success of the online subscription is a wake-up call to publishers. This metaphoric term originated in the second half of the 1900s for a telephone call arranged in advance to awaken a sleeper, especially in a hotel. Its figurative use dates from about 1990.
wake up and smell the coffee
If you say that someone should wake up and smell the coffee, you mean they must start to be more realistic and aware of what is happening around them. You'll have to wake up and smell the coffee. The world is a very hard, cruel place. It would really serve you well to wake up and smell the damned coffee and quit acting like a teenager.
in the wake of something
COMMON If an event, especially an unpleasant one, follows in the wake of a previous event, it happens after the earlier event, often as a result of it. The trouble at Shotts prison follows in the wake of unrest at several prisons in England. He remained in office until 1985 when he resigned in the wake of a row with the Socialist government.
leave something in its/his/her wake
COMMON If an event or a person leaves an unpleasant situation in their wake, they cause it to exist after the event or person has happened or gone. Note: The wake of a ship is the line of white foaming water behind it. A deadly cloud of gas swept along the valleys, leaving a trail of death and devastation in its wake. The rioting died away over the next few days, leaving in its wake three dead and many more injured. Mr Stevens has disappeared, leaving in his wake debts of over £2 million.
a wake-up call
COMMON A wake-up call is something which shocks people, making them understand how serious a problem is and causing them to take action in order to solve that problem. These extreme weather patterns should act as a wake-up call to our complacent leaders. Climate change is happening and we need to act now. The report is intended as a wake-up call for governments around the world to take action to improve healthcare resources for young people. Note: If you have a wake-up call, you arrange for someone to telephone you at a certain time in the morning so that you are sure to wake up at that time.
wake up and smell the coffeebecome aware of the realities of a situation, however unpleasant. informal, chiefly North American
be a wake-up (or awake up)be fully alert or aware. Australian & New Zealand informal
in the wake of somebody/somethingcoming after and resulting from somebody/something; behind somebody/something: Disease began spreading in the wake of the floods. ♢ The tourists left all sorts of rubbish in their wake. OPPOSITE: in advance (of something)
As a ship moves through the water, it leaves a wake (= disturbed water) behind it.
wake the ˈdead(of a noise) be very loud: He must have heard it — that doorbell’s loud enough to wake the dead.
wake up and smell the ˈcoffee(American English, informal) used to tell somebody that they are wrong about a particular situation or have not been aware of something and it is time that they realized and accepted the truth: It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee: you’re not going to pass this course unless you start working harder.
a ˈwake-up callan event that makes people realize that they must take action in a dangerous situation: The recent storms and floods have been a wake-up call for many people about the reality of climate change.
1. To rouse someone or something from sleep; awaken someone or something: Be quiet, or you will wake up the baby. The alarm woke me up.
2. To become awake; waken: I plan to wake up early tomorrow.
3. To make someone alert or cognizant: The coffee woke me up. The shocking revelations finally woke up the citizens.
4. wake up to To become alert or cognizant of something: We suddenly woke up to the fact that the family business was failing.
in the wake of
1. Following directly on.
2. In the aftermath of; as a consequence of.
wake the dead, to
Very loud. This hyperbole has been around for ages. John Woodcock Graves used it in his poem “John Peel” (ca. 1820), which later became a popular folk song: “’Twas the sound of his horn called me from my bed . . . For Peel’s view-hollo would waken the dead, Or a fox from his lair in the morning.”
Also, wake-up time. An event, report, or situation that brings an issue to immediate attention. The term originated in the mid-1900s for a phone call arranged to awaken a sleeper at a given time, usually in a hotel. It began to be used figuratively in the late twentieth century. A New York Times headline over Joe Nocera’s article about a bank regulator interview read, “Wake-up Time for a Dream” (meaning home ownership; June 11, 2010). Also, Gregg Hurwitz used it in They’re Watching (2010), “But either the vows mean something or they don’t. This is a wake-up call, Patrick, for both of us.”