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a wake-up call

Meaning: An event acts as a wake-up call if it makes people more aware of a danger.

For example:

  • I slipped over on the wet floor in my bathroom. I didn't hurt myself badly, but it was a wake-up call and I went out and bought some non-slip mats to stick on the floor.

  • Robert had a pain in the chest, and it was a wake-up call for him. Now he's eating much healthier food and he's exercising more.

Quick Quiz:

The bombing of their embassy should have been a wake-up call that told them many people
  1. liked what their country was doing
  2. didn't like what their country was doing
  3. didn't care what their country was doing

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