November 23, 2014 – Word of the Day



To wake is to end a period of sleep. When this word is used as a verb, it’s almost always followed by the preposition "up."

  • What time do you wake up in the morning?
  • Don’t wake him up!
  • The baby is starting to wake up.
  • Try not to wake her.
  • He wakes up at 6:15 every morning.

wake up  Wake up!

When the word "wake" is a noun, it has a few meanings that are different from the verb.

1. wake: an area of disturbance created by a boat

  • The swimmer got caught up in the wake from a large boat that passed by.
  • Waves created by the boat’s wake lapped up against the shoreline.
  • This power boat is creating a very visible wake.

boat's wake

2. wake: a period of time or the creation of a situation by a person with power or influence.

  • The president of the company left a lot of people high and dry in his wake.
  • In the army’s wake, hundreds of civilians were dead or wounded.

3. wake: a vigil or a visit for someone who has died. The word "visitation" is also commonly used for this circumstance.

  • Bill had to attend a wake for his uncle who died a few days ago.
  • The wake lasted from 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Many people were at the wake.
  • On the day after the wake, there was a church service and a funeral.

woman in black She attended a wake.


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