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English definition of “wake-up call”

wake-up call

noun [C] uk   /ˈweɪk.ʌpˌkɔːl/ us  
If something that happens is a wake-up call, it should make you realize that you need to take action to change a situation: The poor turnout for the election will hopefully be a wake-up call to the government. a phone call that you arrange to be made, for example in a hotel, to wake you up at a certain time
(Definition of wake-up call from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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