woke

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Shortened from woken or woke(n) up.

Adjective[edit]

woke (not generally comparable, comparative more woke or woker, superlative most woke or wokest)

  1. (dialect, African-American Vernacular or slang) Awake: conscious and not asleep.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:awake
  2. (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
    Antonym: unwoke
    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.
    • 1962 May 20, William Melvin Kelley, “If You’re Woke You Dig It”, in The New York Times[1], page 45:
      If You’re Woke You Dig It [title]
    • 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.
    • 2008, Erykah Badu (lyrics and music), “Master Teacher”, in 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
  3. (by extension, slang, often derogatory) Holding left-wing views or attitudes, principally with regards to certain social justice issues or to an excessive degree.
    Synonym: politically correct
    Antonyms: politically incorrect, unwoke
    • 2016 August 14, Ross Douthat, “A Playboy for President”, in The New York Times[2]:
      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[3]:
      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[4]:
      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.
Usage notes[edit]
  • Like politically correct and social justice warrior, 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.
Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Dutch: woke
  • German: woke
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb[edit]

woke

  1. simple past tense of wake
  2. (now colloquial or dialectal) past participle of wake

Further reading[edit]

  • 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[6]
  • Elijah C. Watson (2017), “The Origin Of Woke: How Erykah Badu And Georgia Anne Muldrow Sparked The “Stay Woke” Era”, in okayplayer[7]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English woke.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

woke (comparative woker, superlative meest woke or wokest)

  1. (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.

Usage notes[edit]

  • As in English, the term is sometimes used positively by people who self-identify with the label.

German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English woke.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

woke (strong nominative masculine singular woker, not comparable)

  1. (neologism, informal) woke (well-informed, especially in social justice issues) [from mid-2010s]
    • 2021 December 11, Barbara Junge, “Scholz eröffnet nächsten Wahlkampf: Die Kalküle des Kanzlers”, in Die Tageszeitung: taz[8], ISSN 0931-9085:
      Von der Formulierung, „Sozialdemokratinnen und Sozialdemokraten sind nicht bei denen, die sich für was Besseres halten“, ist der Weg nicht weit zu einer Erzählung von der elitären neuen Mittelklasse, die sich auf Kosten der arbeitenden Bevölkerung bereichert und den Mainstream diktiert, einen woken, natürlich.
      From that formulation that “social democrats are not with those who think oneself something better” the way is not far to a story of a new elitarian middle class that enriches itself at the costs of the working population and dictates the mainstream, a woke one of course.
    • 2022 February 23, Ian Miles Cheong, “Die Berufung einer Dragqueen ins Energieministerium ist ein weiterer Akt im Niedergang der USA”, in RT Deutsch[9]:
      Die Ernennung von Brinton ist ein Beispiel für die woken Initiativen der Biden-Regierung in Richtung "Vielfalt, Gerechtigkeit und Inklusion", zu denen auch die Ernennung von Dr. Rachel Levine gehörte, einer Transgender-Gesundheitsbeamtin im Ministerium für Gesundheit und Soziale Dienste. Es sollte nicht überraschen, dass die Biden-Administration Menschen, die woke Hysterie und eine lockere Moral pflegen, erlaubt, in hochrangige Regierungspositionen aufzusteigen, da sogar Vizepräsidentin Kamala Harris sich den Ritualen rund um die Pronomen angeschlossen hat.
      Brinton’s hire is an example of the Biden administration’s woke initiatives towards “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI),” which also included the appointment of Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender health official to the Department of Health and Human Services. Levine was sworn in as the country’s first four-star admiral.
      It shouldn’t be surprising that the Biden administration allows people suffering from woke hysteria and loose morals to rise to high-ranking government positions, as even Vice President Kamala Harris has joined in with her embrace of pronoun rituals.

Declension[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Noun[edit]

woke

  1. Alternative form of weke (week)

Etymology 2[edit]

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

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Adjective[edit]

woke (plural and weak singular woke, comparative wakker, superlative wakkest)

  1. Physically weak or feeble; lacking strength 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 unusable).
  2. Weak-minded; lacking mental force, power or endurance:
    1. Religiously weak; vulnerable to sin or moral turpitude.
    2. (rare) Fearful, afraid; lacking bravery or courage.
    3. (rare) Unintelligent; lacking intelligence or mental willpower.
    4. (rare) Indecisive (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]
Descendants[edit]
References[edit]