Woke: Definition

Woke was officially added into the Oxford English Dictionary as an adjective in June 2017.

The dictionary defines it as “originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice”.

The Urban Dictionary, which published its original definition two years prior to the official dictionary, defines it as “being woke means being aware… knowing what’s going on in the community (related to racism and social injustice)”.

In other words, it means to be awake to sensitive social issues, such as racism.


See the link above for an expanded definition and explanation provided by the Oxford English Dictionary.

There is also more information in the article cited as the source of this quotation.

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  1. […] a recent conversation, my friend Joan asked me, in the context of CRT, what is the meaning of the word “woke”? I would say, as an extension of the awareness of racism and social injustice, it would include the […]

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