Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The visible track of turbulence left by something moving through water.
  • noun A track, course, or condition left behind something that has passed.
  • idiom (in the wake of) Following directly on.
  • idiom (in the wake of) In the aftermath of; as a consequence of.
  • intransitive verb To cease to sleep; become awake.
  • intransitive verb To stay awake.
  • intransitive verb To be brought into a state of awareness or alertness.
  • intransitive verb To hold or attend the wake of someone who has died.
  • intransitive verb To cause to come out of sleep; awaken.
  • intransitive verb To stir, as from a dormant or inactive condition; rouse.
  • intransitive verb To make aware; alert or enlighten.
  • noun A gathering of people in the presence of the body of a deceased person in order to honor the person and console one another.
  • noun A parish festival held annually, often in honor of a patron saint.
  • noun An annual vacation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of waking, or the state of being awake; the state of not sleeping.
  • noun The act of watching or keeping vigil, especially for a solemn or festive purpose; a vigil; specifically, an annual festival kept in commemoration of the completion and dedication of a parish church; hence, a merrymaking; a festive gathering.
  • noun An all-night watch by the body of the dead, before burial.
  • noun The track left by a ship or other moving object in the water.
  • noun Hence, a track of any kind; a course of any nature that has already been followed by another thing or person.
  • noun A row of damp green grass.
  • To be awake; continue awake; refrain from sleeping.
  • To be excited or roused from sleep; cease to sleep; awake; be awakened: often followed by a redundant or intensive up.
  • To keep watch; watch while others sleep; keep vigil; especially, to watch a night with a corpse.
  • To be active; not to be quiescent.
  • To be excited from a torpid or inactive state, either physical or mental; be put in motion or action.
  • To hold a late revel; carouse late at night.
  • To return to life; be aroused from the sleep of death; live.
  • To rouse from sleep; awake; awaken: often followed by a redundant or intensive up.
  • To watch by night; keep vigil with or over; especially, to hold a wake over, as a corpse. See wake, n., 3.
  • To arouse; excite; put in motion or action: often with up.
  • To bring to life again, as if from the sleep of death; revive; reanimate.
  • To disturb; break.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The track left by a vessel in the water; by extension, any track.
  • intransitive verb To be or to continue awake; to watch; not to sleep.
  • intransitive verb To sit up late festive purposes; to hold a night revel.
  • intransitive verb To be excited or roused from sleep; to awake; to be awakened; to cease to sleep; -- often with up.
  • intransitive verb To be exited or roused up; to be stirred up from a dormant, torpid, or inactive state; to be active.
  • noun Obs. or Poetic The act of waking, or being awaked; also, the state of being awake.
  • noun The state of forbearing sleep, especially for solemn or festive purposes; a vigil.
  • noun (Ch. of Eng.) An annual parish festival formerly held in commemoration of the dedication of a church. Originally, prayers were said on the evening preceding, and hymns were sung during the night, in the church; subsequently, these vigils were discontinued, and the day itself, often with succeeding days, was occupied in rural pastimes and exercises, attended by eating and drinking, often to excess.
  • noun The sitting up of persons with a dead body, often attended with a degree of festivity, chiefly among the Irish.
  • noun [Obs.] the ceremonies and pastimes connected with a wake. See Wake, n., 3 (b), above.
  • transitive verb To rouse from sleep; to awake.
  • transitive verb To put in motion or action; to arouse; to excite.
  • transitive verb To bring to life again, as if from the sleep of death; to reanimate; to revive.
  • transitive verb To watch, or sit up with, at night, as a dead body.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive (often followed by up) To stop sleeping.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Possibly from Middle Low German, hole in the ice, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse vök.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English wakien, waken, from Old English wacan, to wake up and wacian, to be awake, keep watch; see weg- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably Middle Low German, from Old Norse vǫk ("a hole in the ice") ( > Danish våge, Icelandic vök).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English wacu.

Examples

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