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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /wəʊk/
- (General American) IPA(key): /woʊk/
- enPR: wōk
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -əʊk
- (dialect, African-American Vernacular or slang) Awake: conscious and not asleep.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:awake
- (chiefly African-American Vernacular, slang) Alert, aware of what is going on, or well-informed, especially in racial and other social justice issues.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:vigilant
- Coordinate terms: (chiefly derogatory) politically correct, (British) right-on
- 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.
- 1972, Barry Beckham, Garvey Lives!:
- 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.
- 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
- (slang, often derogatory) Holding left-wing views or attitudes, principally with regards to certain social justice issues or to an excessive degree.
- 2016 August 14, Ross Douthat, “A Playboy for President”, in The New York Times:
- 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.
- 2019 October 29, Barack Obama quoted in the New York Times:
- Like, if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself, cause, "Man, you see how woke I was, I called you out." That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change.
- 2019 December 6, Jamelle Bouie, “Why the ‘Wokest’ Candidates Are the Weakest”, in The New York Times:
- If this were actually true, you would expect real traction for the wokest candidates in the Democratic presidential race. But it’s been just the opposite. The woke candidates have been the weakest, electorally speaking, and the defining attribute of the Democratic primary has been a preoccupation with the voters that put Trump in the White House.
- Like politically correct, woke started off as a positive word used by people to describe themselves and their behavior and gained negative connotations over time. Some derogatory uses of woke refer to people who would self-identify as woke.
- → Dutch: woke
alert of what is happening
See the etymology of the main entry.
- simple past tense and past participle of
- “woke”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- Sam Sanders (December 30, 2018) , “It's Time To Put 'Woke' To Sleep”, in Weekend Edition
- Elijah C. Watson (2017) , “The Origin Of Woke: How Erykah Badu And Georgia Anne Muldrow Sparked The “Stay Woke” Era”, in okayplayer
- (slang, often derogatory) woke; holding left-wing views or attitudes, (especially) with regards to social justice issues or to an excessive degree.
- Coordinate term: politiek correct
- Ondanks al zijn woke gepraat heeft de student nog steeds geen vriendin. ― In spite of all his woke talk, the student still does not have a girlfriend.
- As in English, the term is sometimes used positively by people who self-identify with the label.
- Alternative form of
- Physically weak or feeble; lacking strength or energy:
- Weak-minded; lacking mental force, power or endurance:
- Unimportant, valueless (of little value or import).
- (rare) Bendable; able to be plied or flexed.