Wake

Wake

, n. 1. The act of waking, or being awaked; also, the state of being awake. [Obs. or Poetic]
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Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep.
Shak.
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Singing her flatteries to my morning wake.
Dryden.
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2. The state of forbearing sleep, especially for solemn or festive purposes; a vigil.
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The warlike wakes continued all the night,
And funeral games played at new returning light.
Dryden.
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The wood nymphs, decked with daises trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep.
Milton.
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3. Specifically: (a) (Ch. of Eng.) An annual 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, often to excess.
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Great solemnities were made in all churches, and great fairs and wakes throughout all England.
Ld. Berners.
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And every village smokes at wakes with lusty cheer.
Drayton.
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(b) The sitting up of persons with a dead body, often attended with a degree of festivity, chiefly among the Irish. "Blithe as shepherd at a wake." Cowper.
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Wake play, the ceremonies and pastimes connected with a wake. See Wake, n., 3 (b), above. [Obs.] Chaucer.
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Mon 10th December 2018