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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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 (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.
to awaken; to become alert. Wake up! We have to get on the road. It's time to wake up!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.