What is the meaning of ‘wake’ in the following expression: ‘in the wake of something’?

The idiom means coming after something or as a consequence of something. The ‘wake’ has nothing to do with waking up from sleep. In this case, the word refers to the “turbulence left by something moving through the water”. In other words, the waves or path that a moving ship or boat leaves behind in the water is a ‘wake’.

Example: The tsunami left a trail of destruction in its wake.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – September 11, 2007

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