Meaning of “wake (sb) up” in the English Dictionary

"wake (sb) up" in British English

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wake (sb) up

phrasal verb with wake uk /weɪk/ us /weɪk/ verb [ I or T ] past tense woke or waked, past participle woken or waked also wake up


A1 to (cause to) become conscious after sleeping:

Come on, wake up - breakfast is ready.
He woke himself up with his own snoring!

More examples

  • Babysitting is money for old rope if the children don't wake up.
  • I gave him a nudge to wake him up.
  • I go to sleep on my back but I always wake up in a different position.
  • I'm programmed to wake up at seven.
  • I woke the others up at six.


to start to react to a situation after a period in which you have done very little, or to make someone start to react to a situation:

Companies need to wake up and pay attention to the public's increasing concern about the environment.

(Definition of “wake (sb) up” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

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