What Does WOKE Mean?

Definition for WOKE

WOKE means "Aware of and Attentive to Issues of Social and Racial Justice."

The word WOKE is a political term of black origin which refers to being aware of and attentive to issues of social and racial justice. WOKE is derived from the African-American expression "Stay woke" and dates back to at least the 1960s. However, it has been in widespread use in the mainstream since 2014, as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement.

As a result of a backlash from right-wing media pundits and commentators, WOKE has come to be used as a derogatory term to address anyone expressing concern about issues of social and racial justice (in the same way as PC (Politically Correct) before it). Like being anti-PC, being un-WOKE (or anti-"WOKISM") is a badge of honor for many who disagree that racial and social injustice continue to be issues in modern society.

Here are examples of WOKE being used in conversations:
  • Sam: The election was rigged! Stop the steal!
  • Jo: No matter the situation, never let your emotions overpower your intelligence. #STAYWOKE!
  • Fran: One percent control the world, four percent are sell-outs, ninety percent are asleep, five percent know what is going on and are trying to wake up the ninety percent. The one percent don't want the five percent to wake up the ninety percent. #STAYWOKE!
  • Ali: You need to get out more. #BEWOKE.
  • Toni: I'm so WOKE that I yell at minorities that don't feel oppressed and try to convince them that they are.
  • Lee: Ha ha! That never gets old.
This parody from Saturday Night Live on NBC takes a humorous look at WOKE:

Levi's Wokes - SNL

Image for WOKE

When I write WOKE, I mean this:

meaning of WOKE

WOKE people are aware of and attentive to issues of social and racial justice.

Summary of Key Points

"Aware of and Attentive to Issues of Social and Racial Justice" is the most common definition for WOKE on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Aware of and Attentive to Issues of Social and Racial Justice
Type:Slang Word (Jargon)
Guessability:guessability level 3

3: Guessable

Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at WOKE

WOKE is a slang word. It is an incorrect tense of the verb "awake," which means "to stop sleeping" or "to wake from sleep."

WOKE is typically used as an adjective (a describing word). For example:
  • I am WOKE because I stay up to date by watching Fox News.
  • (Here, the adjective WOKE modifies the pronoun "I.")
  • Those students are so WOKE that they can't even see the damage they are doing to their own cause.
  • (Here, the adjective WOKE modifies the noun "students.")

Example of WOKE Used in a Text

Using WOKE on a Cell Phone (Texting, Whatsapp, Discord)


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