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  1. simple past tense and past participle of wake


woke (not comparable)

  1. (dialectal, African American Vernacular or slang) Awake: conscious and not asleep.
  2. (US, Canada, slang) Alert and aware of what is going on, especially in social justice contexts. Well-informed.
    • 1942, J. Saunders Redding, Negro Digest, Volume 01:
      “Waking up is a damn sight harder than going to sleep, but we’ll stay woke up longer.”
    • 1962, William Melvin Kelley, “If You’re Woke You Dig It”, The New York Times (May 20, 1962), p. 45
    • 1972, Garvey Lives!, Barry Beckham
      “I been sleeping all my life. And now that Mr. Garvey done woke me up, I’m gon stay woke. And I’m gon help him wake up other black folk.”
    • 2008, Erykah Badu, “Master Teacher” from the album New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
      “What if there was no niccas / Only master teachers? / I stay woke (dreams dreams)”
    • 2014, Lynn Sweeting, WomanSpeak, A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women, volume 7:
      [] stay woke[,] people of color,
      let us occupy this dissent
    • 2016, Ross Douthat, "A Playboy for President," The New York Times, 14 Aug.
      "But the cultural conflict between these two post-revolutionary styles — between frat guys and feminist bluestockings, Gamergaters and the diversity police, alt-right provocateurs and woke dudebros, the mouthbreathers who poured hate on the all-female 'Ghostbusters' and the tastemakers who pretended it was good — is likely here to stay."


Derived terms[edit]

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Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Inherited from Old English wicu.



  1. Alternative form of weke (week)

Etymology 2[edit]

Inherited from Old English wāc, from Proto-Germanic *waikwaz. Doublet of weyk.

Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /wɔːk/
  • (Northern ME, Early ME) IPA(key): /wɑːk/


woke (inflected form woke, comparative wakker, superlative wakkest)

  1. Weak or feeble; lacking, strength, might, or energy:
    1. Weak or feeble due to illness, affliction or aging.
    2. Lacking competency in combat or on the battlefield.
    3. Helpless; lacking, power, authority, or control.
    4. (rare) Fruitless, barren; agriculturally useless or unusable.
  2. Lacking mental strength, force, power or endurance:
    1. Weak religiously; in danger of sinning or moral failure.
    2. (rare) Fearing, afraid; lacking bravery, heart, or courage.
    3. (rare) Unintelligent; lacking intelligence or mental willpower.
    4. (rare) Indecisive, flightly; unable to commit or take action.
    5. (rare) Morally suspect or corrupt; selfish.
  3. Unimportant, valueless; of little value or import.
  4. (rare) Bendable; able to be plied or flexed.
Derived terms[edit]