• (often followed by up) To stop sleeping.
  • (often followed by up) To make somebody stop sleeping; to rouse from sleep.
  • To put in motion or action; to arouse; to excite.
  • To be excited or roused up; to be stirred up from a dormant, torpid, or inactive state; to be active.
  • To watch, or sit up with, at night, as a dead body.
  • To be or remain awake; not to sleep.
  • To be alert; to keep watch
  • To sit up late for festive purposes; to hold a night revel.


  • The act of waking, or state of being awake.
  • The state of forbearing sleep, especially for solemn or festive purposes; a vigil.
  • A period after a person's death before or after the body is buried, cremated, etc.; in some cultures accompanied by a party and/or collectively sorting through the deceased's personal effects.
  • A yearly 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.
  • A number of vultures assembled together.
  • The path left behind a ship on the surface of the water.
  • The turbulent air left behind a flying aircraft.
  • The area behind something, typically a rapidly moving object.


Similar words

  • death watch


  • A merger of two verbs of similar form and meaning:
  • Middle English waken, Old English wacan, from Proto-Germanic *wakaną.
  • Middle English wakien, Old English wacian, from Proto-West Germanic *wakēn, from Proto-Germanic *wakāną.
  • From Old English wacu, from Proto-Germanic *wakō.
  • Probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch wake, from or akin to Old Norse vǫk ( > Danish våge, Icelandic vök), from Proto-Germanic *wakwō, from Proto-Indo-European *wegʷ-.

Modern English dictionary

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