- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /wəʊk/
- (General American) IPA(key): /woʊk/
- enPR: wōk
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -əʊk
Shortened from woke(n up).
- (dialect, African-American Vernacular or slang) Awake: conscious and not asleep.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:awake
- (US, Canada, slang) Alert and aware of what is going on, especially in social justice contexts. Well-informed.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:vigilant
- Coordinate terms: politically correct (in conservative discourse, pejorative), right-on (British)
- 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
- 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 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.
See the etymology of the main entry.
- simple past tense and past participle of
- Alternative form of
- Weak or feeble; lacking, strength, might, or energy:
- Weak or feeble due to illness, affliction or aging.
- Lacking competency in combat or on the battlefield.
- Helpless; lacking, power, authority, or control.
- (rare) Fruitless, barren; agriculturally useless or unusable.
- Lacking mental strength, force, power or endurance:
- Weak religiously; in danger of sinning or moral failure.
- (rare) Fearing, afraid; lacking bravery, heart, or courage.
- (rare) Unintelligent; lacking intelligence or mental willpower.
- (rare) Indecisive, flightly; unable to commit or take action.
- (rare) Morally suspect or corrupt; selfish.
- Unimportant, valueless; of little value or import.
- (rare) Bendable; able to be plied or flexed.