wake play


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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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