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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
eye-opener
noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
real
▪ Jimmy thought her a real eye-opener.
▪ This can be a real eye-opener in many parts of the world.
▪ But leaping to a 166-megahertz chip is a real eye-opener.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ A visit to a farm is an eye-opener to a city child.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ I never put that much stock in images, and to have him do that-that was just an eye-opener.
▪ It had been my first alpine climb, and it had been an eye-opener.
▪ It is not readily apparent that Edinburgh is a busy seaport but a visit to Leith Docks can be a fascinating eye-opener.
▪ It was an eye-opener, and it was puzzling.
▪ Jimmy thought her a real eye-opener.
▪ This can be a real eye-opener in many parts of the world.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
eye-opener

"anything that informs and enlightens," 1863, from eye (n.) + agent noun from open (v.). Earlier "alcoholic drink" especially one taken early in the day (1818).

Wiktionary
eye-opener

n. 1 An experience or event that reveals, enlightens, or informs; something that causes learning, revelation, realization, or increased awareness. 2 An alcoholic beverage consumed first thing in the morning. A euphemism used by those offering or consuming alcohol in the morning.

Usage examples of "eye-opener".

On course we will: bootlegs and eye-openers by ther dozen we will dispense in honor of meetin' ye, at yer expense, an' don't ye fergit it, nuther.

He would also have poured down an eye-opener consisting of half a water glass of fine Champagne brandy.