wake-up call

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wake-up call

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.
See also: call

wake-up call

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.
See also: call

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.
See also: call

a ˈwake-up call

an 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.
See also: call
References in periodicals archive ?
The report should serve as a wake-up call to both lenders and investors.
This unfortunate wake-up call has been placed before, by the Wall Street mad bomber of the 50s, student radicals in the 60s and the national zealots of the last two decades.
WAKE-UP CALL Rooms (which can sleep a family of four at a squeeze) cost pounds 60 (15pp per night).
Experts have widely circulated their population estimates this year as a wake-up call for transportation planning.
BUSINESS WIRE)--May 30, 1996--The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) registered its endorsement of "Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information Society," a major report released today by the National Research Council (NRC), and said the Clinton Administration should view the comprehensive study as a wake-up call on its fundamentally flawed encryption policy.
The move/demotion to the offensive line was a wake-up call, and Hopkins responded.
This is a wake-up call for the voters of Los Angeles County.
We're glad we got this wake-up call on a win and not on a loss,'' freshman guard Becky Bracelin said.
After one too many close calls (a murder acquittal in 1996, a marijuana bust in 1998 and a wake-up call in 1997 after Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.
The foundation sees the study results as a kind of wake-up call.
It was a wake-up call to employers who want to downsize and continue doing all these negative things.
Just tell Wendy the cabin steward and your wake-up call is coffee and croissants.
1-800-WAKE-UPS also sends on-time wake-up calls, reminders about important meetings or other memory-jogging phone calls that help keep busy lives on schedule.